Image Comics 2021
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino
Coloured by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Steve Wands
Laika, Able, and Baker continue their incredible journey home…but can the three animals successfully pilot their mysterious ship? Back on Earth, Yelena and Dr. Pembrook race through East Berlin to transmit a message before the K.G.B. can stop them.
There are a few things that stand out to me with this series so far. The animals have this telepathic or speech they can do with each other and yet it is very limited so they aren’t really having conversations so much as they are saying words that are thoughts formed. It is rudimentary and I like that because while they are in space they are going through something extraordinary that doesn't mean they should communicate like humans. The other thing is the sheer level and quality of work that Andrea is providing for the interiors is utterly bloody mindbogglingly phenomenal! Back on Earth as Yelena and Donald work to send a message I am still not quite sure what this is supposed to do but it still adds this element of drama and intrigue to the mix that is as exciting to see as the trio in space.
I am completely enthralled by 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 are presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job in continuing to flesh out the personalities that we see, yes even the animals. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story the more we want to see.
I am very much enjoying the way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. I am also liking the way that we see these layers opening up new avenues to be explored. Whether or not they are explored they all add some great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward are impeccably handled.
The interiors here really are bloody mindbogglingly brilliant. The linework is immaculate and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create this level & quality in the attention to detail is perfectly rendered. Normally I am saying that we need to see more backgrounds but here with the animals these stark white panels just punctuate the work we see even more and somehow because of where they are it works exceptionally well. When we do see them they enhance and expand the moments beautifully and they also work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows a masterful eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a sensational eye for how colour works.
This is a different kind of story and it’s fascinating on so many levels. There are so many things about this that still remain a mystery and I appreciate that because it just means the more we are intrigued the more desire we have to come back time and time again. Plus with a cliffhanger regarding Yelena and Donald and seeing how the issue ends well I’m eagerly awaiting to see what is going to happen next issue more than ever. With some interesting and intriguing writing and stellar characterisation wrapped up in these utterly bloody brilliant interiors this is a magnificent obsession.