Aftershock Comics 2018
Created & Written by Paul Jenkins
Illustrated by Wesley St. Claire
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
Imagine there was a single, mysterious word, written in English, that found itself scrawled across multiple ancient sites, some of which predate the English language. Imagine that word was the key to possibly solving the greatest treasure hunt of all time. Now, imagine a young boy named Jake finally decoded the meaning of the word, and along with his loyal, one-eyed Welsh Corgi and his increasingly confused partners, went in search of the word’s meaning, only to find it led to multiple treasure troves.
This is the kind of stuff that would’ve given Fox Mulder the hard-on of his life. Not only that but just the fact that Paul is writing this and he’s doing it in the most unexpected and delightful of ways thrills me to no end. This for me is the turning point of the series it gives us more information than I was expecting and it takes things to the next level. Jake is still so very green and coming from where he does, being plucked from his life and being thrust into this world of the Beyonders and he’s a genius and he’s frustrated. There’s like this huge ball of pent up something going on within these pages and the sheer fact that we readers can feel that is amazing.
The way this book opens is spectacular. The narration of what Jake has learned and what is not making any sense, which granted is a big list especially for him, brings us up to date on what’s going on. It showcases this understanding in layman’s terms of how serious the whole idea of conspiracy theorists are both right and wrong and that the truth (is out there) is so much worse than we could possibly ever begin to imagine. Organisation as old as mankind, buried secrets and the distribution of false information is a wet dream in the making as we hear it being told.
The way the book is structured is interesting to me. There is a very unique flow to the story here that is both interesting and frustrating at the same time. These people aren’t like us and how they think and how they act so naturally what they say and do will seem odd to us. That Paul is darn effective in getting us to see that as well as showcases his skill and his talent not to mention his passion for writing.
Wesley has a very unique style of his own here. There is this strange contrast between the technology or static things have this wonderful attention to detail and seem intricate and beautiful, while the people have a more overall limited feel. As is they are secondary and I don’t understand it and I also don’t understand why it works so damn well. Although not gonna lie Shadwell is the best drawn of the bunch and what makes him the favourite character. Still the utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off such a nice solid eye for storytelling. This is the part where I usually moan about wanting more backgrounds but they are they are utilised beautifully and give us so much information.
If there is one criticism I could voice is that the surrounding characters don’t get the attention the might deserve. The team Galileo for instance was glossed over and that was a tad disappointing, I get why but it felt like blank space that I wanted filled. Our handsome daddy figure (and I don’t father but the drop your bloomers daddy) is someone I want to see and know more of. He’s more of an Enigma than I thought he’d be by now. Narine too for that matter but her I feel is more purposeful as if she’s guarding herself from Jake purposefully and that will revealed later. Regardless it’s minor in the grand scheme of things.
This is kind of brilliant in ways you cannot even begin to imagine and it just keeps proving to me that these creators and this company is a force to be reckoned with.