Aftershock Comics 2016
Creawted & Written by Paul Jenkins
Illustrated by Leila Leiz
Coloured by Tamra Bonvillain
Lettered by Ryane Hill
Reeling from the tragedy surrounding her first interaction as an Alter, Chalice must reconcile her public persona and her civilian identity. Her transformations are now set in motion, and she struggles to deal with everything. Yet in the midst of this turmoil, new Alters are revealed...including one undergoing Alteration very close to home.
What I liked about this issue was how Paul was able to expand on the individual characterisation. From Chalice and how she feels about the events that went down to Ember and the rest of the team dealing with the aftermath of the encounter with Matter Man. From all the different angles we see how Chalice’s newness and naivete about all this has a cause and effect on everyone.
It’s not just the characterisation either because all the while that is happening Paul’s advancing the story as well. We’re introduced to new challenges they face with the revelation of a secret identity and new characters as well. As we open in the hospital with Philip and learning how the battle with Matter Man has affected his shape changing body. I like the way this is done and that even though he’s got control over his body there’s little hope of him living a normal life again. While I hope his powers allow him to recover that he may not has a major impact on me as a reader.
Chalice’s conversations first with her childhood friend and then with her brother show how much she’s changing. Still the fear is there to talk about transitioning into a woman and how that is being handled has this whole “normal” fear to it when coming from a family where that will be met with possible disdain and ostracism. The conflicting inner emotions with the emergence of being this Alter show what kind of woman she’ll be in the long run but it’s a matter of getting there and i’m more than happy to enjoy the journey in the meantime.
I’m a fan of Leila’s interiors. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and how we see the backgrounds really help tell the story. Faces, facial expressions and body language really do wonders in helping with mood, feelings and extra characterisation. Also seeing Chalice’s body in the beginning of her estrogen phase is interesting. The softness of his features compared to other male characters is nice to see.
There’s an honesty to the way Paul is delivering this story to us. From the way we see Chalice react to her own failings and then the apology and how that’s received by the group it’s got that okay I know I messed up I can’t change that but I want to become better that a lot of people can relate to. I’ll be interested to see just how long she can keep living this multiple personality lifestyle before something else gives and she has to come fully clean. Living lies can destroy a person add in superpowers and crazed killer after her and well what’s to come next should be something to see.