I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about my favorite fictional universes – about what science fiction specifically means to me. It might be because the Skywalker saga came to an end, and that was one of the big stories that first captured my imagination when I was no older then 6. There’s Ray Bradbury, the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Korra, Alejandro Jodorowsky, to name a few. Amidst those few and far between, one name from recent years continues to find space in my mind, and that is the words and worlds of Matt Kindt.
There is a universality and longevity to his stories. I could have picked Ether up today, or when John Carter of Mars was first written, or in 25 years and still have found a connective tissue to my soul.
This is the final issue of the Boone Diaz stories, a hero whose faults ultimately outweighed his successes. A man more committed to himself than those around him. He was so committed and good at what he did, though, that you rooted for him in all the other ways. Kindt has a way of taking these sorts of male figures that could be toxic and making them sympathetic by giving them layers of humanity that you won’t find in other stories, from Henry Lime in his opus, Mind MGMT, to his community leaders in The Grass Kings, to Diaz himself, and his female characters are a whole other ball game of genius. His characters learn and they grow, and you always take that journey with them. You feel the repercussions of their mistakes and the joy of their victories.
I’ve written a lot about Boone Diaz as a character, and this final issue was about everything I could have asked for.
A large part of this journey was truly successful due to David Rubín’s emotionally soaked imagery. There have been panels in which I would start crying, simply because the emotions on the characters’ faces were so deeply conveyed.
Truly, Ether: the Disappearance of Violet Bell and the two volumes before are an adventure story like few others. If you’ve been following along, this final issue will be a heartfelt, bittersweet treat. If you’ve stumbled upon this review, I implore you to go back and read the collections. What Kindt has done is taken the fairie tale, the allegory, and turned it on its head mixing mythology with the serial adventure to create something truly unique and alive. It’s a fantastical sci-fiction wonderment. Every panel brings a new treat, and every word writes a new depth.
Creative Team: Matt Kindt (writer), David Rubín (artist, letters), Daniel Chabon (editor), Chuck Howitt (assistant editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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