In Review: Animosity #7

"Feeding Time" is a delicious chapter.

The cover: There’s an excellent bit of insight on this cover via the saints, courtesy of Rafael de Latorre and Marcelo Maiolo. Seven of the issue’s key protagonists are on this frontpiece, dressed in their holiest attire, complete with halos. There’s Bethesda, the lemur (who’s name isn’t in this issue, nor the previous one, and I can’t remember it), Zarza, a newly appeared unnamed armadillo, Kyle, Sandor, and Jesse. I really like the way the two humans have their hands posed, which is completely appropriate for this genre of artwork, but take a look at Sandor — no halo. There’s always been a dark cloud around this character and this cover only confirms it: he’s no saint. The colors are also well done, looking aged, as if this were an ancienty piece of artwork. Cool cover with a hint of ominous foreshadowing. Overall grade: A

The story: In the previous issue Bethesda and Pallas arrived in time to save Jesse from an acid spewing crimson vulture, who, with its allies, was going to string up the young girl and use her as food, since she was unwilling to lead the group to her friends. The vulture explodes from the ceiling to attack, but is repelled by the heroes. The vulture brags, “In the stomach of my children…you’ll be reunited with your companions soon enough.” Before it can make another attempt, a gunshot just misses its head. One of its human allies is thrown to the floor, dead, with the accompanying dialogue, “You’re right about one thing, you…Christmas turkey…you’re in for a reunion” (Note: I’ve edited one word from this declaration).  The speaker is Sandor, who with Kyle, Zarza, Potter, and the lemur, have arrived. Sandor rushes the raptor, butting it, and receives a vicious scratch to the head for his efforts. He yells at Jesse, “Don’t look, cowgirl–! Don’t look–” He then does something terrible, but absolutely justifiable to the creature. The crimson bird has a few choice words for Sandor and his friends, which gives the canine opportunity to reveal something about himself. Nothing major is told, but instead his past is again teased, moving him closer to a sinister background. How Jesse navigates her exit from the shack is very realistic, as is her reaction when learning the information on Page 12. One character calls another character out for his actions, and leaves the group, allowing two members to return to the shack for a solemn purpose. Again, background information is deliciously teased by writer Marguerite Bennett. A possible new ally is revealed to the group, as is a new setting, which appears to be paradise. Readers know if something looks too good…This issue was the strongest story yet in the saga of the new world order. Overall grade: A+

The art: Outstanding work from Rafael de Latorre, who keeps several graphic images just beyond the reader’s reach. The first panel starts with such an image, as Jesse, Pallas, and Bethesda are in the foreground, with the dead bodies of several humans and animals hanging from the rafters. These bodies are done in silhouette, allowing the reader to identify what’s being seen, without the faces to hammer home any attachment. This is necessary for a later sequence. The full paged splash on Page 2 is a dramatic image to announce the arrival of the vulture and it is a horror. To see Pallas rush at the bird on 3 is to witness David and Goliath battle. The strength of Jesse is shown in the second panel on this same page and it was good to see that she’s not afraid to fight back if necessary. The panel that tops 4 is the definition of the cavalry arriving. The creatures shown at the bottom of 5 were illustrated similarly in previous images and it never gets old: what can’t be seen, only teased, always has a greater impact upon the reader. Page 8’s largest panel is the audience pleasing scene, though it is graphic. de Latorre makes this panel work perfectly. However, it’s on the next page where his skills really come into play: Jesse has to leave the building, but in a particular way. The way panels’ illustrations heighten the tension incredibly and place the reader completely in Jesse’s point of view. It’s an outstanding example of de Latorre’s skills. 12 has some information that shouldn’t be surprising, but is, and the way in which it’s shown to the reader will hit like a punch to the gut. The character introduced on the penultimate page looks great, but, having read every issue of this series so far, I couldn’t take my eyes off the character’s nails. This was another beautiful and frightening issue from de Latorre. Overall grade: A

The colors: Adding to the intensity of the story and art are the colors by Rob Schwager. The colors add to the outlines of the bodies hanging from the rafters within the shack, and make Jesse’s exit from it powerful. There’s a stark change in coloring in the bottom panel on Page 1 that serves as the perfect introduction to the vulture on 2. This entrance features some slick backlighting of the bird through colors. This villain’s dialogue also receives unique coloring for its dialogue balloons, which suits its nature. It should be said that the coloring on 8 sells the action entirely. Page 10 introduces a new locale to the book and Schwager’s colors enhance the emotional change superbly. The flashback on 12 is dark, but not as dark as the pages within the shack; note that the colors remain dark at the bottom of the page as the information conveyed is being realized. Nicely done. Overall grade: A

The letters: Scene settings, dialogue, whispers, sounds, and yells are crafted by Marshall Dillon. The whispers in this book are terrific, because characters would have to speak quietly for what’s occurring, or what they see. The stellar sound work is certainly memorable, with the conflict with the vulture creating several; though it’s tiny, my favorite is PING, because of what it foreshadows. Again, excellent work from this creator. Overall grade: A

The final line: The best issue yet, and all have been excellent. There’s resolution to a conflict, the fate of several characters revealed, and one character’s past continues to become more ominous. This book should be on everyone’s reading list. “Feeding Time” is a delicious chapter. Overall grade: A

To purchase a digital copy go to http://aftershockcomics.com/on-sale-may-2017/

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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