Mad Cave Studios 2020
Written by Christopher Sebela
Illustrated by David Stoll
Coloured by Dearbhla Kelly
Lettered by Justin Birch
The impossible has happened, one of our young theives has gotten caught and Haley is determined for that to be her last mistake. How long until the cops catch up to them, and how long until The Manager cuts his loses? The gripping finale is here!
This has been a sensational story and I’m sad to see that the final issue of the arc is here. We’ve watched these kids go from playing criminal to becoming career criminals and make no mistake they’ve gotten so used to putting themselves to the test to see if they can indeed get away with their plans to ever really go back to a so-called normal life. Plus just that fact that these kids are deaf and seen to have a disadvantage when in reality they are just as capable if not more so than anyone else in the age group and beyond. They’ve nothing to prove to anyone other than themselves and each other that their friendship and their skills are among the best of the best and it’s what binds them together.
I really like the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. With the entire team putting all the blame squarely on Max’s shoulders and how they took care of the man who had them by the balls in a vice, yeah well that’s the best analogy I can think of, it would seem that everything is going to be one big conspiracy. The character development that we see is amazing and I have to say that not one of them cracked under pressure is more impressive and telling about who they are. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story we get to see just how impressive these kids really are.
I like how we see this being structured and how the layers in the story didn’t fizzle but seemed to really hit their stride. I need this to be the first of many arcs starring these kids because I have become so invested in their lives at this point that they are like a chosen family to me. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is an absolute delight.
The linework that we see really is fantastic and how the varying weights are being utilised to create such a high level of detail in the work is spectacular. The faces and facial expressions are brilliantly done and along with the body language they really further the characterisation. I wish that we’d see more backgrounds in play but it is what it is. We still get some decent depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. How everything works within the composition of the panels is really nice to see. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkable eye for storytelling. How we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work and how the different techniques are shown in how its laid down is fantastic to see.
I love the power of storytelling and how we can see a story like this one come to life in ways that engage the reader, draw them into the story so they become invested in them and leaves us wanting to see more of them after the arc has ended. That Christopher was able to write this in such a way that its an instant hit in my opinion and that he created such complete characters who have found their place in the world with a family of their choosing well that’s more than a lot of folks get in real life. It is a beautifully done story from concept through execution and the interiors and lettering all work to make this something you just want more of.