Last issue took place in the Old West version of Gideon Falls and was a fun, zombie-esque issue. Now, we’re back to dystopia, as the Smiling Man’s plague-like energy spreads across time and space and comes after Doctor Angela Xu. Everyone is in peril, but for the last couple of issues, it’s been a very similar peril: They’re getting chased! It's fun, but the emotional resonance takes a back seat during these passages and, to me, that’s the bread and butter.
And now, paradoxes exist. Paradoxes are the easiest way to get information from one character to another and then to the audience which would have been impossible to know otherwise. In a very brief exchange, one character asks, “But how did you find out?” They respond, “You told me.” I swear I want to see the first character again ask, “…but how did I find out?” … “I told you.” Thankfully, the character who first asks is unimpressed with that train of thought pretty much right away. In this case, it’s hard to know if it’s an alternate version of a character or a past or present version of a character, or who knows! Lemire has given himself the liberty to fudge around a bit; it’s smart that he doesn’t abuse those powers, or this story would have imploded long ago.
Instead of getting tangled up in the minutia, he keeps the story moving forward - actionable and in the moment. Sorrentino and Stewart rally along every issue. The opening images in this issue are remarkably beautiful. I’ve talked about Sorrentino, Stewart, and Lemire’s work on this series before, but Steve Wand lettered this issue like a master. Visually, he is adding so much without taking anything away. And because he’s also in charge of the design work, he’s able to pull this book together in ways that even I probably don’t understand. Everything is seamless - every panel, every image, and every word box. This is such a well-produced comic on all levels.
Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Andrea Sorrentino (artist), Dave Stewart (colors), Steve Wand (letters and design), Will Dennis (editor)
Publisher: Image Comics
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