‘Gideon Falls #22:’ Advance Comic Book Review

You know when you think you do something to make a thing better, and it ends up making it worse? Welcome back to Gideon Falls. The last story arc saw our heroes “victorious” over what is known as The Black Barn, a sort of inter-dimensional doorway that holds within it a great evil called The Smiling Man. The problem, of course, that when you’re dealing with an ancient, esoteric evil which lives outside of time and space, who knows what will happen if you “destroy” it.

Let’s start with the first thing that you see with this issue: the cover. The covers, from the first issue, have been remarkable. Each story arc brings with it a visual theme that each of the characters are then plugged into, and the results from Andrea Sorrentino and Dave Stewart have been nothing short of brilliant. Now, if you haven’t looked inside one, that brilliance creeps across every page, so much so that when they now give Dave Stewart his title in on the title page, they say Original Colors by Dave Stewart.  And I am hard pressed to think of anyone that can color a comic like Dave Stewart can.

Gideon Falls is a puzzle box within a puzzle box within a puzzle box. The characters - a madman who goes by two names, his therapist who has been drawn into his madness, a priest with a crippling background, and a sheriff who is connected to the madman - are caught up in the puzzle boxes. They are not spectators. In fact, the more they try to manage how this goes, the more caught they get. Now, they have been separated over different dimensions. What that means for The Black Barn and where this next puzzle box takes us, I have absolutely no idea. The thing that Jeff Lemire is using to keep us grounded in this paradoxical mess are the characters themselves: their humanity and their fears.

The really amazing thing about this series is how it handles our perception of time and space, how it visually shows us things that the human mind can barely process. The comic book medium slowly crumbles around our characters as they try. It is an experience that’s well worth the time and money.

Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Andrea Sorrentino (artist), Dave Stewart (colors), Steve Wand (letters), Will Dennis (editor)
Publisher: Image Comics
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