Image Comics 2015
Created, Written & Penciled by Shane Davis
Inked by Michelle Delecki
Coloured by Morry Hollowell
Lettered by Patrick Brosseau
We open with a rather emotional scene this issue as Ruiz is getting the snot beat out of him by a couple of bullies at school for supposedly being gay. The dialogue here is brutally honest when it comes to a small town and their small mindedness. Though i’ve got to say what one of em says well that made me laugh out loud. Still this is important to the story as if you’ll recall there were three of them in the game fighting together.
When we get back to Dog and the players I have to say i’m pretty darn thrilled. I mean Dog has this whole cute anime kind of feel to him like some hybrid Gundam/Disney thing going on. Now that they are all together it’s time to go after Ruin. Though with Dog’s emergence from the game his circuits have been fried and he’s not of any real help to them. More like he’s a compass rather than the entity able to guide them like in the game.
God I am so super impressed with the interiors here. When we go back to Ruiz and his home life inside a trailer with his old man the artwork is really rather stunning in it’s realism. There’s something powerful about seeing his old man’s face that really sticks with you. Seriously the human aspect of this book is so incredibly well depicted and then the game versions of them have that superhero comic book quality that really kind of makes everything seem like it’s two books in one.
So when Ruiz goes into his room his game is frozen and he’s pondering about the other players. Yeah i’m pretty sure he’s gay without having to really come out and say it if the narration is any indication. Still i’m down with that as well as what happens to him in his life leading him to become who he does. I will say the whole cutting deal in that red and black was extremely powerful stuff and it really kind of a wow moment that has major implications.
There’s something about the writing here by Shane that is really something else. The characterization is beyond what we’ve gotten so far and it seems like he’s just amping things up and setting the stage for how this series will progress. Ruiz’s trip to the homecoming dance however is very relevant to today’s world and thankfully doesn’t go where so many news stories have lately. Though what did happen, thanks to the power of television and the news we learn, and what happened when he got home well yeah I can see how his life has led him to this point.
There’s something awesome happening here with the video game being a conduit for something to transcend into real world actions. With the ability to fight and level up as if in the game to become stronger things are going to get a lot more violent and difficult before the kids can find Ruin and try to put a stop to him.
The concept, execution and enthusiasm we’re getting here is really bleeding through off the page making it easy for me as a reader to get not only emotionally involved but extremely excited with each new issue that comes out. This is the kind of originality and uniqueness that we need in comics these days to escape the humdrum.