What do you get when a patient with mental health issues, his therapist, a priest, and a sheriff try to destroy an evil that has existed outside of time? You get a joke with a cosmic punchline. You can’t destroy the Black Barn, apparently. In issue #22, we saw the outcome of the destruction of the Black Barn in that it was not destroyed. And, as stated, our characters have awoken in various versions of Gideon Falls.
This issue focuses in on Father Frank, the priest. This is a futuristic Gideon Falls, with all its own rules and absurdities that keep both Frank and us humble readers on our toes. This issue lives in a world very much like Jodorowsky’s The Incal or Spielberg’s Artificial Intelligence, wherein even with all the technology, it almost feels like the wild west.
Lemire has a lot of story to tell in little time. We’re introduced to a new, fun character that I like a lot, but also the smiling man returns to the story and, like usual, his presence on the page simply terrifies me. That’s because due to Sorrentino’s art and Stewart’s colors, it doesn’t feel like this being exists on the page. He is three-dimensional in two dimensions.
What Lemire is getting at thematically and where this all is going is anyone’s guess now, but as Fanbase Press continues with its #StoriesMatter initiative, the reason to keep reading is because there hasn’t been a single issue wasted. Lemire and company have made this story matter by developing the characters, the situation, and the world. By creating a puzzle box that - just when you think you’ve gotten to the center - has another switch that needs to be found. I am invested. The character we are introduced to will matter, because, so far, all of the characters we’ve been introduced to have mattered.
Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Andrea Sorrentino (artist), Dave Stewart (colors), Steve Wand (letters), Will Dennis (editor)
Publisher: Image Comics
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