(See reviews of Vols. 1 and 2 here.)
November, Vol. 3 opens up with a flashback to Kowalski’s former career as a cop. She got pulled into some shady dealings that involved the evidence locker. When she finally confronted a cop behind some of the bad dealings, she pulled her gun on him and was removed from the police force. Now, it seems some of those underhanded dealings have come back to haunt her, and she must confront that portion of her past. Her wife desperately tries to get her to come home, and the conversation between the two of them takes a good chunk of real estate in this volume. We also get a bit of backstory on Dee, who hooked up with another druggie girl and ended up overdosing. The infection from her overdose destroyed her hip and landed her with the crutch she currently uses. At the end of the volume, Kowalski confronts some of the dirty cops and finds Dee and the unnamed woman locked up with a dead man, another victim of the seedy underbelly of the police force.
November, Vol. 4 brings all of the pieces to a close. As soon as Kowalski has the door open, Dee bolts out of their confinement and confronts the dirty evidence locker, including a pallet full of fake money. She grabs as much as she can carry and steals a car to get as far away as possible. On her way out of town, she tries to pick up a dancer at one of the strip clubs she loved going to, but the woman sees right through Dee and keeps on walking. The third woman, whose name we finally figure out is Emma Rose, at first believes it would be better to stick together to protect each other. In the end, Kowalski’s shock from being shot and her dedication to her duty forces Em to take off with an armful of fake cash as well. Kowalski has her moment confronting Len, the worst of the bad cops. Three post scripts tie up the ladies’ storylines as they all go their separate ways and recover from the night of violence in their own ways.
This series is definitely for the fans of the crime noir genre, as there is a lot of darker elements in the storyline and in the art. The color palettes change with the different perspective of character: Kowalski has a lot more dark browns and blues, Dee is dark blacks and creams, Emma has more teals and lighter colors. Each of the color palettes complements the personality of the lady from which we are viewing the events. The main characters are not particularly compelling, and the postscript for Emma was comical in contrast to the rest of the series. It might have been a scene from a fever dream, or that she was in Heaven after being offed by the bad guys, who we never see. Readers looking for some depth into the criminal plot and the mess that Kowalski was swept up into in prior volumes will leave this series disappointed.
Image rates this series Mature, and it definitely is. There is lots of drug use, sex, topless bars, and plenty of violence. This series may have a readership in adult collections, especially where there is a following of Fraction’s work, but it is not recommended for school libraries or libraries serving primarily teens or younger readers.
November, vols. 3 – 4
By Matt Fraction
Art by Elsa Charretier
Vol 3 ISBN: 9781534316027
Vol 4 ISBN: 9781534318212
Publisher Age Rating: Mature
Series ISBNS and Order
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+)