Top Cow Productions/Image Comics 2015
Written by Bryan Hill
Illustrated by Isaac Goodhart
Coloured by K. Michael Russell
Lettered by Troy Peteri
Eden strikes back at the Aryan brotherhood, and the Aryan brotherhood responds with a psychopath hungry for retribution. The battlefield is set and both sides march towards their final confrontation. What happens when violent supremacy meets righteous violence? War.
This series from concept, thanks Matt Hawkins for your creation, to Bryan’s storytelling here has been amazing. Just seeing the whole town full of people who need to avoid their pasts and get away from the world finding each other in this town of Eden run by a woman who’s as hard and nasty as they come. It’s just one of those rare entities that becomes fascinating and starts to take on a life of it’s own. Sure Bryan may be responsible for the characterisation and story direction but it’s the characters and this town that tell him where they need to go as well.
Over time we’ve watched Mark stay the same and yet completely change. He’s taking a more direct role in his mother’s affairs and with his Aspergers he’s uniquely suited to be the town’s fixer. It’s his plan in action that opens up this issue and it’s a pretty powerful statement of someone not messing around. I’ve applauded this series for portraying him like they have, not shying away from his condition, in this case finishing a project with a veracity that is rarely seen even among the residents of Ede.
This has all the drama and tension of a well crafted drama that would give shows like How To Get Away With Murder a run for it’s acclaim. The machinations of the characters and their motives on full display here by Bryan has always been one of it’s strong points and the more we learn about these people the more their current way of life and maintaining it becomes a priority strengthens what we learn.
Isaac’s interiors here are strong and represent real people in the great ways. His eye for storytelling through the use of page layouts, angles and perspective not to mention the excellent use of backgrounds to control the flow is high among the reasons for how good this series is. The use of shading and shadows at key moments add to heighten drama nicely. Michael’s colouring is a great match for Isaac’s linework.
This is one of those arcs that could change the face of Eden forever in a number of ways. The Mayor is tired and that is affecting her health though she’s loathe to admit it and this leads to something others want her do and that’s to name a successor which she already has in mind. Mark’s not one the people trust to make the decisions like his mother but maybe if this new war goes smoothly the opinion of him may change. Still he’s not that hardened figure and that’s what they think Eden needs. It’s great that these side plots are swirling around while a few of them are gearing up for a war.
The writing, characterisation, plot advancement and interior artwork have put this series in a league of it’s own. It’s gripping powerful drama draws into a world we can’t get enough of.