Dark Horse Comics 2017
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Nate Powell, Matt Kindt, Dustin Nguyen, Ray Fawkes
Emi Lenox & Michael Allred
Coloured by Dave Stewart & Sharlene Kindt
Lettered by Todd Klein
Jeff uses Colonel Weird to take us on trip through something that has affected each of the heroes who are caught on this strange world. I would love to say that the Colonel gets more great characterisation but that really isn’t the case, well not entirely. I do like that he’s aged to the point that his existence has made him what i’d consider addle brained. With everything he’s seen and been through he’s the least stable of those assembled and that’s saying something but by giving us a chance to see him in action here was great.
With a bevy of artists involved it’s great to see the different takes by different artists. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and even backgrounds here really make the book flow nicely. I also love the fact that each artist takes on one character and it’s very clear that they wanted to be a part of this and do their best. Their takes really give us that different look so that we feel like there’s a long and storied history to the characters and their adventures long before this series started.
As Colonel Weird sees something in the Para-Zone he goes off to investigate it. It’s something that he feels is familiar but cannot quite place it. So as he goes along after it there’s this psychic connection to it so that he sees how it has interacted with each member of the group. There is one moment here that makes you wonder if this is the precursor for why they find themselves together. Which of course is one of those vignettes that features Madam Dragonfly and it does make complete and utter sense that it would be in hers.
Jeff has really created this wonderful world and cast of characters here that have all the feel of familiarity that we love alongside a newness and freshness that makes it unique. That they’ve brought us an Annual is beyond my expectations and I couldn’t be more pleased. Like traditional Annuals of the past this has nothing to do with the series current story arc it’s just a tale that “needs” to be told.
We get to see that each of them fought a common foe, in this case some other-dimensional thing that attaches itself to people’s faces. It’s the very being that Colonel Weird sees and follows that gives him the visions. It’s like this creature is what brought them all to the same place at the same time for the first time in not a team-up per se but something close. What the Colonel sees gives us glimpses into the past of each individual and expands who they are through what they’ve been through. As if we needed another reason to adore the characters all the more this issue only strengthens the series appeal.
This everything you could want it to be and so much more. With reflections of the past with current storytelling this continually makes the must read list!