Oni Press 2013
Written by Charles Soule
Illustrated by Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque
Coloured by Dan Jackson
Lettered by Crank!
Charlotte Hayden left the crew of the Clarke behind taking the Bowman to get close enough to the Builders to offer them a trade: a way to improve the Chandelier’s firing capabilities discovered by Willett and Kalani. Though nearly killed in the process, Hayden was able to convey her message to the Builders, who transported her back to the Chandelier. On Earth, President Stephen Blades made the decision about the 666 people who would survive the end of the world, while Ex-President, Carroll met with the Coach--a hitman he’d worked with before--and gave him a new assignment.
So we open with the crew of the Clarke trying to decide which action to take next. I have to say I liked this because of how the characterization kept them true to their decision making. This was a very rational discussion and it went a lot more smoothly than I would have anticipated it would. Charles continues to surprise me with how does the book. It’s so super smart and well crafted that each issue is just a joy to read.
Before anything can really be enacted the choice of what to do is taken out of their hands and the revelations that the Builders aren’t as good as they thought they were still leaves such an impression. The cooperation between the crew of the Clarke and the Builders will be essential if things are going to work out. This will however have the potential to change what happens on Earth so we’ll see if what happens going forward.
Meanwhile on Earth both Blades and Carroll are enacting their own plans and it’s quite interesting to see. While Carroll is trying to act like he’s still in power and working behind everyone’s back to ensure his people survive Blades is doing what the feels is best for the American people. So we’ve got a lot going on here that if things with Clarke work out are going to have tremendous implications down the road. Again the way Charles is writing this is amazing as we see that the left isn’t aware of what the rights doing and to add to drama of all this we’ve still got Sonja and Major Drum still doing their things.
So many different angles at play all seemingly working in their own space but the connectedness of them is abundantly clear to the reader. The tension this creates when reading shouldn’t be discounted as it really heightens the experience.
Alberto has proven time and again his skill at storytelling. Just the way the book flows and this attention to detail and how second nature he’s got with the characters depictions continues to impress. The use of backgrounds to increase the focal point and help with the mood and tone are wonderfully done.
I love that you can’t ever think you know what’s going to happen next here. There are constant curveballs thrown into the mix so that may hope something will happen but there’s no guarantee it will.
This remains one of the most complex and solid books to be on stands today.