Mad Cave Studios 2020
Written by Anthony Cleveland
Illustrated by Antonio Fuso
Coloured by Stefano Simeone
Lettered by Justin Birch
Reeling from the news that her brother, Kenny, was in a very serious accident, Shae rushes to the hospital where everything begins to spiral. Kenny mysteriously goes missing from his hospital room so Shae rushes over to see Kenny's podcaster friend, Ari Noonan. What Shae discovers will change the way she has thought about everything for the last two decades.
God almighty this really is one of the best books available today. The way that Anthony is writing this is beautifully done and bordering on absolutely flawless. I was awed when I finished this issue and I sat here for a moment and just jaw dropping to the floor awed by what was within these pages. While I am a fan of what Anthony has done so far there’s been nothing that has prepared me for just how well this is being done, it’s like now that he’s got a foot in the door and wammo it’s time to prove he’s not going anywhere anytime soon. This is a statement book and what a statement it makes. Doesn’t hurt either that Antonio and Stefano are doing the interiors heh.
I am thoroughly enjoying 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 exquisitely. That we see the past revealing itself as memories continue to surface we don't know what is real and what isn’t as Shae never wanted to admit the truth of the matter. Which leads me to the character development that we see which is astounding in revealing so much in such a short time as how they act and react to the situations and circumstances they encounter. The pacing here is amazing and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story with its myriad of twists and turns along the way.
The way that we see this book structured is marvellous. The way that everything we see works together so seamlessly to create the story’s ebb & flow is beautiful to see. The then and now aspect is worked into this in a great fashion that highlights a few things that if you pay attention will show up later on. There is a smart and intelligent way that this is being told and I have to say it will blow your mind.
The interiors are phenomenal! I love Antonio’s style and the fact that we get to see the linework as we do and how well the various weights and techniques are utilised to bring such amazing detail in the work. The way that backgrounds are incorporated into the scene’s and how they bring this really nice depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story while enhancing what we see is brilliantly done. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show such a masterful eye for storytelling. I love the colour work as well and there as it has this gorgeous watercolour effect and it so effortlessly adds such rich and soft tones to the work.
With the story unfolding and the more we learn the more we want to learn. Shae’s been miserable hiding the reality away and her brother the poor guy well he’s going through stuff that only his sister and her friends can help him with. This is an amazing read that transcends everything you’ve ever thought you’ve known. Welcome to the Mad Cave, there's a fire roaring and open seas just for you.