Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Lorenzo De Felici
Colourist: Annalisa Leoni
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Kirkman kickstarts the second story arc of his new comic by peeling back the layers and delving further into our protagonist’s motivations for the repeated perilous endeavours. The bulk of this issue is exposition, taking us back to the moment of the transference and the think tank that caused it. By showing that Nathan was partially responsible and adding guilt to his list of reasons for going to the Oblivion, Kirkman manages to make him more sympathetic. Most people can relate to loss. People can also relate to making a significant mistake and feeling driven to make it right. This issue shines when it focuses on the brothers. However, it doesn’t keep the focus solely on them.
I previously mentioned that Duncan’s subplot wasn’t engaging me, and it wasn’t handled any better this time around. I understand that not every plot can hold the same level of intrigue or excitement, but there are ways to better explore the break down of this relationship. For example, the sub plot could work better if the creative team focused more on making the reader care for each party involved and their connection before going down this path with their break up. Fortunately, this story thread only briefly made an appearance, momentarily bringing down a strong addition to the series.
Felici and Leoni capture the havoc and chaos of the initial moment of the transference, hammering home the scale of the zany apocalyptic landscape, as well as the brutal end of Nathan’s colleagues. The blue beast latching onto Katherine’s head was such indifference towards its prey was a particular stand out panel. However, it was the skyscrapers covered in otherworldly matter that gave a sense of how both dimensions impacted one another.
The story arc is off to a good start, but it remains to be seen how much of the lore Kirkman builds in the coming issues. Are we going to see the Faceless men next issue? Is Ed going to be separated from his brother again? Will there be immediate consequences for breaking Nathan out of his cell? I look forward to getting the answer to these questions and more. The strength of the writing and art make it easy for me to give this issue a seven out of ten.
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