Boom! Studios 2017
Created & Written by Clay Mcleod Chapman
Illustrated by Jey Levang
Lettered by Aditya Bidikar
Okay so this issue things start to heat up again as we are introduced to the next wrinkle in the story. So far this mysterious outbreak has been contained more quickly than we’d have expected it to be, the building was draped and shut off from the world faster than a hooker does her john. So there is still more to this than we’re being told and what Clay has been doing expertly here is leaking the information to us beautifully. He’s able to get us hooked and string us along in a way where we are so into what’s happening that we don’t realise all the questions that need asking until we’re finished with the issue. He truly is a gifted writer.
The way that we see the building inside and the students that are in there are portrayed is pretty darn impressive. I don’t know if you’ve tried to envision what chaos looks like but for all intents and purposes I believe that Jey captures it perfectly here. From the descent into madness thanks to the sickness and the isolation, which for only three days shouldn’t be this bad unless that’s the sickness taking hold of their minds, we see what chaos is. Through both the writing and the visuals here I’m taken to a place I really wasn’t expecting to see and furthermore its one that we should’ve seen coming.
The guys are able to bring us into this world in ways that are sharp, strong and powerful. We see that these kids are not prepared for life like this, they are soft and not resilient at all. It’s a statement about kids today really about how quickly the become like Lord of the Flies because they don’t have the wherewithal to know how to survive in these conditions. Leadership is gone, dementia and sickness are rampant and there still a third phase to this that we haven’t seen till now.
Jey’s eye for storytelling is pretty amazing to me. The use of page layouts with their angles, perspective and those backgrounds really bring this to life. It’s so strong that it takes your breath away at times and you have no idea where to look. What Jey does here is essential to understanding the story and just how big it can be.
Charles’ revelation well that was interesting but has little relevance. His attempt however to find a way to get out is futile and I am enjoying the process he’s going through. Finally we’re seeing someone take charge, use their intelligence to try and get something done. While it may be a bit of a waste of time it still showcases that there are maybe a couple who are naturally immune to this and they have the desire to figure a way out.
I do wish we’d see more of the outside view from the men in hazmat suits outside talking about the pathogen itself hopefully that will come before. It’s a big part of the story and yet we aren’t getting information about it and it’s weird. Don’t get me wrong it’s weird but it’s also something that keeps us coming back time and again so that we hopefully learn something. The way that all this is going keeps me on the hook quite effectively and while I’m loving the way Charles is coming into his own, in his own way not to mention how he’s looking out for Tamara who is symptomatic and for whatever reason he refuses to see that. The way this is all depicted for the reader is brilliantly done.