Image Comics 2018
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino
Lettered & Designed by Steve Wands
As the gossamer threads that appear to connect Father Fred and Norton across Space and Time become more entwined, Norton suffers a mental setback that could jeopardize both their investigations.
I love this series it is without missing a beat a perennial favourite and it has yes to disappoint me in any way. There is something about seeing this playing out in two different places at the same time (relatively speaking) in different places that just plays out so incredibly beautifully that it engrosses the reader. It is hard to say that one side of the coin is better than the other because really it isn’t and the fact that I want to see both stories equally continue or be longer is excellent. There is some frustrating aspects and that only centres around the fact the issue isn’t long enough.
Seeing Norton’s past at school was a treat and if I am completely honest more than a little bit scary. Granted all the horror stories we hear about these kind of Catholic institutions and Nuns are never all that good which makes me happy I am a nice Jewish guy. Though part of me thinks without the faith you can’t have that which lurks in the dark coming after him. The way that this opening feels so utterly complete to me in showing us just how mentally messed up Norton has been since childhood.
The way the book is structured is amazing. The whole back and forth between the two arcs is with apparent ease and it never leaves us feeling as if we’re missing anything. That the two somehow tie into one another is a bit mischievous as well. Although never as much they do in this issue which for me couldn’t be any better. The flow for this is extraordinary and while there is so much going on in these page nothing ever, ever feels rushed or glossed over. Then there is the way that we see information and revelations come to pass here and I swear every single time we learn something new there’s something else to replace with an even mysterious twist looming. This is how you build and maintain such tension in the series.
Andrea is a godsend to the industry with his precision and ability to create such amazing linework. The way that the characters are brought to life, the expressions on their faces really captures their feelings and emotions. That creature in the dark is creepy as all get out and that two-page spread oy vey the creativity and imagination he has with the precision of how those panels are utilised give me the chills. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off his masters eye for storytelling. While the words are what are needed to maintain the story these visuals are the glue that keeps our eyes on the page.
There are aspects of the book that just surprised me story wise. Kadri busting into Norton’s home to find him and Dr, Xu then sedating and literally absconding with him and we’ve no idea just who Kadri is and what his intentions are. Though truth be told I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he was the one who ransacked the place while he was in session with Dr. Xu. Also I wonder if he even realises that she’s seen the Black Barn as well, if so would she also end up in a padded cell? This man already infuriates me and I want bitch-slap him so hard his great-grandfathers seed shrivels up. If that statement alone doesn’t tell you how invested this creative team has made me nothing else will.