Cave Pictures Publishing 2019
Written by Jim Krueger
Illustrated by Well-Bee
Lettered by Simon Bowland
The team remains at odds, some of them fighting to undo the curse that has erased their existence, some taking advantage of the curse to gain more power. Meanwhile, Ripple continues pulling everyone's strings, putting his own dark plan into place without caring about the collateral damage. All of this comes to a head in an epic battle in Times Square that changes everything.
This still remains unrivalled in my mind as there isn't another book, this intense, this well constructed and executed or even illustrated that I can find on stands today. The pure enjoyment factor that is associate with the title alone is phenomenal. Whenever I mention this someone invariably proclaims how much they are enjoying this as well and that a little book from a largely unknown publisher can evoke such fandom is what it's all about to me. This shows that you don't have to be at either of the “Big 2” to have the best book around and also why I keep telling everyone to look at those publishers you've not heard and pick up at least one title and give it a try.
The way that this story is being told is phenomenal. The story & plot development has been amazing and how the reader learns information as things move forward is so well done. Every thing we see is in place in a way that is structured but flows incredibly natural at the same time, it's an interesting dichotomy to me. The character development here is extraordinary and that we've had time over the run thus far to really get to know these people and find those that we like, don't like and wish we could see more of. With the pacing of the story we see the twists & turns and a major revelation all of which create this ebb & flow that is serene like the inside the eye of a hurricane. The whole thing has the undertones that something is going to explode at any moment and adds to the feelings of excitement and tension.
I really like how I, as a reader, experience this story. Without a critical eye, hell even with one, there is so much in this book and how the characters are presented and the overall themes that we see throughout make me excited, the give me hope for what is still possible and coming in the industry. It is a rare book nowadays that really lights up someone's eyes when seeing the cover, that feeling of an adrenaline rush and this doesn't happen that often.
Well-Bee is a revelation every time that I see a new issue of his work. I am blown away page by page of this book at the level and quality of the interior artwork. As much as Jim is able to write in a way that makes you feel sensations and emotions, Well-Bee takes those to a brand new level and gives that kinetic, feel of motion, energy that courses throughout the book. You can feel the chaos from what you see on the pages and the linework and the colour work that are so in sync with each other carry the story to a high level. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show and extraordinary eye for storytelling. The utilisation of backgrounds that we see not only enhance the moments and show powers in play but help with depth perception and bringing a size and scope to the book. The colours with their hues and tones creating the shading and shadows is beautifully rendered.
The moral of the story, the lesson these characters need to learn and how it's gone about as well as what can be done about it have introduced us to a world we never imagined existed. It also makes us want to see more, with two possible outcomes there is that opportunity to explore either or both. What has been created here is something that can be gone to time and again either with solo stories or as a team and regardless of what it may be people will flock to it. This is one of the most creative, original, dynamic and insanely illustrated books to come out in quite some time.