Dynamite Entertainment 2016
Written by Ben Fisher
Illustrated & Lettered by Adam Markiewicz
Coloured by Adam Guzowski
Paul and Maria find themselves uneasy allies on the run in a world where any physical contact results in agonizing death. But the bloody effects of the “Divide” may be the least of their concerns when they stumble into the crosshairs of a deranged serial killer and a group of “baredevils” who thrive on the danger of exposed skin.
I like that Ben is taking us on a journey here throughout the world’s new landscape. I like that there may or may not be a cure out there for this new “disease” and that Paul and Maria are off to a specific destination. So that along the way we get to see how different parts of what is left of the population react to the new reality. It’s also a great opportunity to really flesh them out as people and the characterisation here is wonderfully done. That a side effect of touching someone is to absorb their mind into your own means that a person is forever changing and evolving.
These Baredevils are crazy folks. Though I will give it up to the guys for showing everyone in various stages of nudity regardless of gender. It’s definitely something where the visual reality alongside the writing is incredibly important and effective in bringing these people to life so we can understand them. It does make me wonder if this community is so large then how many others are out there that operate in the same manner. Plus there’s one important thing we learn about what happens when you touch too many people. That aspect adds something else to the mix I hadn’t previously thought about.
I do have to commend Adam & Adam for their work on the interiors. Aside from the equal opportunity crazy dressed, or naked, attire the book has a great feel to it. The facial expressions are wonderful and portray a lot of emotion as well as some additional characterisation. The use of page layouts through angles and perspective are done very well. The use of backgrounds is much appreciated and really fleshes out the scenes greatly putting you in that moment with them. P.S. that graffiti on the mall wall lol nice!
This issue has a few new revelations and some new folks are introduced to the series so that we start to see how this changes the dynamics. We could’ve just had the two of them on cross country road trip but by enlarging the cast of characters we get to see new aspects of personalities emerge. Also I’m wondering if that coming out story, which while Paul might not have appreciated I surely did, is going to have a different kind of impact upon him.
Ben is keeping us on our toes with this one and I like that. The whole premise and take on the end of the world disaster story is original and interesting, full of good characters with solid characterisation. It’s filled with nice interior artwork that isn’t afraid to push boundaries. The story has a great progression and pacing to it that keeps everything fresh. Unlike anything you’ll expect it to be this is the new original aftermath story!