Immortal Sergeant #5 Review

Writer: Joe Kelly

Artist & Cover Artist: Ken Niimura

Publisher: Image

Price: $3.99

Release Date: May 17, 2023

Michael’s accompanying his estranged father, James Sergeant, on a road trip. His wife, Val, can’t understand why the mild-mannered internet game designer would help his uncouth, irascible father apprehend a suspect in a case so cold it’s icy. Is what they’re doing even legal? Let’s ignore police regulations, investigate Immortal Sergeant #5, and find out!

Hey, don’t taze me, Bro. I’m just the reviewer!

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The suspect: Aaron “Crusher” Birdsall. Drug dealer, scumbag, murderer. Accused of killing his child, the judge let him walk. After he left the court, James never saw him again. Aaron’s brother Harold likewise disappeared. That is until James spotted him in a bar in issue #3. James kept the victim’s shoe in his glove box for 35 years. Suddenly, days before retirement, he’s got a shot at justice for 1-year-old Lateisha.

Instead of attending his retirement dinner, James follows a bus into Mexico. While he doesn’t want to admit it—even to himself—he wants his son by his side. Perhaps he hopes that this trip will bring them closer together. But the gulf between them will take a long time to cross. Racial profiling, cultural and gender stereotypes, white cops versus the black community: it’s all grist for the mill in Immortal Sergeant #5.


Ken Niimura delivers a hard-hitting story that tackles broken families and political correctness as a thirty-five-page Black-and-White cartoon. You can feel the tension rise when James shows Michael Lateisha’s shoe. You smile as Michael bonds with a sombrero-wearing clerk over his game. Fireworks enliven Michael’s confrontation with his father over police ethics. Scenes at Michael’s mother’s house, where Rhoda tells Val why she divorced James, draw you in.

The uppercase words in spherical dialogue balloons are easy to read and follow. Music notes accompany alerts from Michael’s phone. Lowered voices for smaller letters infrequently appear. Occasional sound effects enliven this offensive and controversial comic. As unsophisticated as the art (and the story’s primary character), the lettering eases you through Immortal Sergeant #5.

Final Thoughts

This issue takes a bold and unapologetic look at how police relate to their families and the public. It tackles corruption within the American justice system and reminds us how the generation gap often becomes the Grand Canyon. There’s a lot wrong with James Sergeant, as the remnants of his family will readily attest. But there’s not a lot wrong with Immortal Sergeant #5.


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