If you are not up to date on Gideon Falls, stop reading this review. Part of the magic of this book is that you only know as much as the main characters know at any given point in time, and I need to talk to some degree about what’s happening, which means spoilers would be ahead for those unfamiliar with the series.
Somewhere between multiverses, an entity exists, and that entity is depicted as a smiling man, cut out and pasted into reality in a way perhaps that we can only begin to comprehend. Even that tiniest bit of comprehension is terrifying, because it hints at the greater terror. That is part of the magic of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s ongoing series. The world is so rich that it exists outside of the panels – beyond the reality that the characters are in – and continues past the first and last pages.
In this issue, a lot of elements are explained and smoothed over; rules to the universe are sharpened. Maybe those who have scratched their heads needed further explanation, and that’s one hundred percent okay. Even if these elements weren’t explained, even if we barreled ahead and it remained purposefully inscrutable, it would still be an amazing journey. Why?
Gideon Falls is a masterclass on how to take full advantage of the art form of comic book storytelling: the way Sorrentino maps out Lemire’s existential ideas on the page; the way Stewart uses multiple color palettes that create different senses of space without drawing attention to itself; the way Lemire drives these characters forward – not because of a sense that something else is driving them, but because they genuinely want answers.
I look at some of the media over the years that have terrified me most: The Shining, Twin Peaks, Alien… In each of these films, there is a measure of something existing just around the edges of what we know to be true. Just outside our frame of knowledge or experience. In Gideon Falls, our characters are approaching that edge and with every step closer and every explanation discovered, there’s still something just outside that answer that keeps you on your toes. In doing so, it keeps the readers on their toes, as well.
Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (story), Andrea Sorrentino (art), Dave Stewart (colors), Steve Wands (letters), Will Dennis (editor)
Publisher: Image Comics
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