For a series that has built to a crescendo on a couple of occasions, only to find out that this is the penultimate issue kind of caught me off guard. In the next issue, Gideon Falls concludes, and I’m two years and some change older. It has often felt like we’ve been nearing a conclusion on a number of occasions, only for the script to flip on the characters. Now with several new characters and storylines only recently introduced, in the blink of an eye, it will be concluded. If it sounds like I have mixed feelings about that… well, I do.
Obviously, I won’t judge until I’ve read the final issue, but right now I’m grasping for the momentum that preceded the previous climactic moments, the anticipation of uncertainty, the dramatic tension between characters. Maybe it’s me, because the ideas are big!
The multiverse is collapsing. The problem being that our cast of characters have been spread across different variations of Gideon Falls for this current story arc while multitudes of the Smiling Man have been giving chase. The Smiling Man has been terrifying, but as a zombie horde, somehow less so. It’s become something we recognize and are familiar with; the mystery is diminished. That’s not a bad thing, just a different thing that took me an issue to readjust to. All of the rules changed with the end of the previous story arc.
Where does that leave our characters? I’m not entirely sure. So many doors have been opened in the last couple of issues that I’m genuinely baffled at how they’ll all be closed again by the next issue.
My feeling isn’t of disappointment. How could I be? There’s only one more issue left of one of my favorite comics of the last three years. It’s more like a feeling that Lemire is betting us that he can pull this off in one more issue. A challenge, indeed, but I’m sure he’s up for it.
Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Andrea Sorrentino (artist), Dave Stewart (colors), Steve Wand (letters and design), Will Dennis (editor)
Publisher: Image Comics
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