Top Cow Productions/Image Comics
Written by Bryan Hill & Matt Hawkins
Illustrated by Isaac Goodhart
Coloured & Edited by Betsy Gonia
What a great issue this is. I’m so impressed that a man like Mark with his asperger's being able to function the way he is and break free of the mold that he’s set for himself thanks to current events happening in Eden has been a joy. Sure we open with him having an episode as a child and then at the hospital with the Sheriff, the concentration on the crooked tie just reaffirm what he goes through everyday of his life and yet he’s still determined. It’s kind of a powerful message that no matter life throws at you, you can be more than other people see you as and so-called maladies aren’t a hindrance at all.
Isaac and Betsy’s work on the interiors are smashingly good too. From the opening of him curled up afraid in a ditch he dug to that focus on the crooked tie to Maggie and what she has finally had the courage to do to everything we see the Mayor manipulating yeah they’ve really gone so far past anything we could have hoped for in bringing this all to life.
It takes three months for Mark to get back to normal after taking that beating and being hung from a tree. In this time Maggie’s own story has changed as has her demeanor and plans, she likes Eden and wants to be more of presence in it. Well after Mak confronts those who beat him and Maggie shows up to help him out it’s time for mommy dearest and Maggie to have something as close to a heart to heart as the Mayor can.
The characterization here is beyond incredible I mean the way we get to know these characters and how honest some are and how damned ruthless others can be and the lack of love or caring on display while it should be alarming is just par for the course in Eden. Bryan and Matt have created this town and world that doesn’t need anyone in spandex or magical powers just the sheer force of will to do what they feel needs doing and that alone should speak volumes at the fact that great storytelling comes in all forms.
With Mark’s recovery and the whole deal between him, Maggie and his mother that he decides after a rather compelling dream about his father to start acting even more out character adds just another facet to his character that you think just how off the beaten path can things get while still not following the path least traveled? There really is something quietly amazing about this story and the way it’s being told it’s like discovering a hidden stash you had forgotten about and just makes your day when you find it.
Do yourself a favor and see if your store still has copies of this series or can order them for you, if not well then a trade down the road is something you should order because this is what as a reader you look for. It’s compelling, complex, fascinating and completely unexpected in its subject matter. I’ve found myself engrossed in this since day one of issue one and I think you will too.