Storm King Comics 2019
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Illustrated by Jason Felix
Lettered by Janice Chiang
What do you do with a girl like Marnie-who involuntarily kills anyone who steps into her personal space? Do you try to cure her? Imprison her? Weaponize her? Marnie, meanwhile, desperately wants to stop killing innocent (and not-so-innocent) people, which means a mad scramble through a police blockade and into the only empty areas left in San Diego... which aren't as empty as Marnie thinks!
Okay first I am a huge Duane fan personally and professionally so that he's writing one hell of a weird science fiction story that is completely and utterly amazing should come as no surprise. Not only is this out there but it's so “out of the box” in it's thinking that it is more than just a little creepy. This is that fine line between horror and fascination where things blur just enough to be a part of both and yet still remain in their own lane. It is easier for you to read this and understand what I am trying to say because finding the right words to describe it aren't as easy as one would think.
The opening here is great as we see some news outlets trying to cover Marnie's story and a YouTube nobody spouting about The Grays. It's kind of funny when you think about it as it shows that anyone with a platform will say anything they can think of as an explanation or what is happening. For a world that's so connected to their devices we've become far less intelligent than we were before all this technology. When we see the officer approach Marnie and he actually starts to listen to her I began to think that maybe he's a good guy after all. Kind of good looking too, it's just too bad men are so damn stupid and always think they are in the right as she warned them what would happen and in their haste and air of superiority well we knew what was going to happen next.
Speaking of Duane really nails the whole white male privilege here as we see Foulkrod wanting to gun her down and as a late middle aged white man he's no regard for anything other than what HE wants and thinks should happen. God help us from politicians like that. Still the characterisation here is so damn good that we understand who's who and what role they play in a matter of moments. The story & plot development we see through the unfolding of the sequence of events and how the reader learns information is expertly laid down. The pacing is super strong and how we see this flow through the pages and bring us the twists and turns is superb. All of this creates this ebb & flow to the book that makes this such a joy to read.
Jason and his computer generated interiors showcase what is capable of being done these days. The characters all have this great body language and movements to them that is so natural looking and feeling. The faces and facial expressions are beyond any kind of expectations and that they look people you'd meet on the street blows my mind. That cop, Secor, is handsome and not just that oh he's nice looking but real world handsome in his face and that is both creepy as hell and marvellous at the same time. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show such a strong and talented eye for storytelling. The way backgrounds are utilised in the composition in the panels bring us depth perception, scale and this sense of size and scope to the book. The attention to detail isn't skimped on here either. Then there's the colour work and how the various hues and tones within any given colour bring us this level and quality of shading, highlights and shadows, I mean damn.
John Carpenter's Tales of Science Fiction has been a revelation since the first issue came out and each subsequent story arc has gotten stronger and more interesting. That this encompasses so much in the science fiction realm and the real world scenarios is something that is truly monumental in today's capability for storytelling. This should always be on your reading list, anything from Storm King really there standard, see quality and level, for storytelling is among the highest you'll ever see.