Love & Rockets #7:
The Death of Speedy

by Jaime Hernandez
(Fantagraphics, 1987-88; 1989)

Speedy Ortiz is not a major character in the ongoing saga of the Love & Rockets cast. But he takes center stage in The Death of Speedy, the major storyline in this book by Jaime Hernandez.

Speedy is one of the Hoppers crew, a lover of great reknown who has been a longtime friend and crush of our old girl, Maggie. But her romantic hopes are dashed when he takes up with her sister, Esther, who is visiting from dull and distant Dairytown. But romance in a Hernandez book seldom runs smooth, and Esther still has a boyfriend -- a big, mean and powerful boyfriend -- back home.

What might be a simple lovers' triangle in some places sparks a long-running enmity between the young people of both communities. Violent acts, big and small, erupt at both ends. And, as the title reveals, Speedy will not survive the book. But his death is not the death you'd expect.

Hernandez digs deeply into his characters in this collection, revealing volumes in the space of a single panel. This is a story you will feel and remember long after closing the book.

But wait, there's more. The Speedy saga takes up only a part of this collection. The rest is spent primarily on the road -- Hopey in clubs with her fractured band, Maggie on the wrestling circuit with her frantic aunt. New love blossoms, friends part and the story continues. Let's hope it never ends.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 14 February 2004

Buy it from