Escape or Destroy
The fourth and final issue of Strange Skies Over East Berlin is a strong and epic end to such a memorable miniseries.
With the alien wanting to escape the base, Herring must stop it before it can harm anyone outside. When the spy comes upon a dying Anzhela, she reveals that she had suspected Herring from the beginning. While disgusted by his offering to help her, Anzhela informs Herring where he can find more weapons and to blow up the tunnels so as to kill the alien. With Anzhela dead, Herring goes back to the armory and a long the way his fear and doubts continues to grow.
Enemies Turned Allies
He suddenly has another vision, but this time of Keiner’s life. In it, we see that Keiner was a Nazi prisoner as a child until his town was liberated by the Soviets. Feeling as though he owed them for saving him, Keiner joined one of the Soviet agencies to grow stronger and never let anyone else make him feel weak.
Once Herring finds the alien about to kill Keiner, he throws a grenade at it, harming the creature and causing it to run away. Once Keiner wakes up they both realize that they’ve seen each others’ pasts through the alien’s mind manipulations and agree to work together to defeat it once and for all.
Gathering as much weapons as they can, they then find a ladder that leads to the outside. Even as they get closer, Herring wonders to himself if people like him and Keiner deserve to be forgiven for what they’ve done and the people they’ve hurt.
The Alien’s Defeat
Just as they get to the top, the alien appears at the bottom and climbs the ladder while it attacks the two of them. With one of the steps between Keiner and Herring braking off and Herring on top of the alien, the spy decides to sacrifice himself by jumping off and landing on the alien as he falls. In the bottom, a broken Herring sees the woman from his past again just as the alien approaches. With one final bomb, Herring uses it to kill both him and the alien.
Strange Skies ends with Keiner escaping the base, going back to his job but realizing how empty it is due to his experience, and seeing visions of Herring encouraging him to get out. Upon meeting one of the people Herring tried to help at the start of the story, Keiner looks at the Berlin Wall and decides for a new change.
Everyone involved in not only this issue, but the entire miniseries as a whole, have crafted such a phenomenal and amazing story. Jeff Loveness’s writing is on point, Lisandro Estherren’s artwork is detailed, and Patricio Delpeche’s coloring is beautiful and haunting.
When I first started reading this story, I had no idea that this was meant to be just a four issue miniseries and thought it would be the beginning of a new series. So while I take back some of what I said about the third issue, that being that certain aspects occur too quickly, one thing that this miniseries needed is maybe an extra issue or two. It ends perfectly, sure, but so much was happening that I feel it needed to be six issues to better expand upon it.
But still, Strange Skies Over East Berlin #4, along with the past issues, gave us such a thought provoking, engaging, and fresh story. It would be crazy to not expect a film or miniseries be based on this story due to its atmospheric and engaging story.
You can pick up the last issue of Strange Skies Over East Berlin at Boom! Studios, Comixology, and your local comic book store.