Ludocrats #5 Review: More Stumble Than Graceful

Hh. Well, Ludocrats #5 is the end of the wildly ambitious mini-series about a world of mad, whimsical aristocrats sworn to fight dullness in any possible form. In this issue, characters make gags that are callbacks to things they did before. The art dynamically takes you through a trial (that's more interesting than the one the Legion of Super-Heroes sat through), even as much of it is talking heads in nine-panel grids.

In this issue, the protagonist is put on trial for crimes against his brother, and then surprises happen, and the issue ends.
Ludocrats #5 Review
The cover of Ludocrats #5. Image Credit: Image Comics
The review is weird because this issue is weird in a way that's both hard to quantify and hard to accept. The plot comes to a big, kind of ideological corner and finds itself surrounded by paint. From there, things get much more Gwenpool than a book with so many meta moments needed (hello Jamie McKelvie!) and … then just … stopped.
The difficulty level setting for this series has always been scary — a debut issue of such dazzling wonder that it set the bar too high, only to leave wax wings available to try and maintain or surpass those heights. Despite some great moments, this landing is more stumble than graceful. While the visual standards remain excellent, this is a drastically less imaginative sojourn into this realm, an attempt at a double-blind ruse that didn't pay off in the final analysis.
It's frustrating because when this series was good, it was virtually diaphanous. Here? It just kind of surrendered to its page count, even literally having characters try to escape through the credits … but to what end?

It wasn't boring, but it wasn't a triumph of whimsy or wonder. In the end, it's just … over. RATING: MEH.

Ludocrats #5 (of 5)

By Kieron Gillen, Jeff Stokely, Jim Rossignol,Tamra Bonvillain
LUDOCRATS ends as it began, with the release of a 32-page comic pamphlet. We leave you with fond memories and longing. Forevermore, LUDOCRATS will be the comic whose name you accidentally moan when having sex with other lesser comics.

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About Hannibal Tabu

Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on, and more information can be found at his website, Plus, get free weekly web comics on the Operative Network at
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