In Review: Animosity #14

Sandor looks for Jesse, unaware that's she arrived in the worst possible place.

The cover: Sandor walks into the unknown in the pursuit of Jesse who was kidnapped by Kyle last issue. In his wake is a trail of blood, cementing his opinion that he’s dying. The dog has said he would do anything for Jesse and with her taken by another, he’ll do all that he can to save her until his dying day. This cover by Rafael de Latorre with colors by Marcelo Maiolo makes it seem that that day may be coming sooner than later. Great atmospheric cover that actually teases the first page of this issue. Overall grade: A

The story: Sandor’s narration opens this issue. He speaks of the word of God and he confesses, that for him, the word of God is Jesse. He would do anything for that girl. ‘…She is the only thing that matters. And with her gone from me, there is no word…Instead, there is a question…Where is my child?!‘ Far from him, Kyle puts Jesse down, because he hears a noise of someone approaching. He pulls his gun and sees that it’s the goat Zarazamorra who wants to know what Kyle is doing. The human says, “Sandor is — insane, Zarza. He’s a murderer, a liar, he — he’s a shitty father. And he’ll get Jesse killed if he hasn’t already gotten himself shot to confetti.” Zarza is not buying it, demanding Kyle give him the girl. He refuses and something bad happens. Marguerite Bennett crafts a tense story on two fronts: Sandor torn with what his heart wants him to do and what he knows Jesse would want of him and Kyle and Jesse making their way to the Walled City. The majority of the book is spent on this second story and it’s pretty frightening. The reveal at the end of Page 11 foreshadows something terrible that shouldn’t be too difficult for readers to figure out. The conversation on 12 – 13 is harsh, but the action on 14 is startling. Another conversation occurs on 16 – 17 and it’s even more intense, given the power structure in place and one character’s refusal to cooperate. I love the one panel of dialogue on 19, which increases the creepiness of what’s occurring. The final page screams of a modern day classic first published in 1985 which has gained more popularity in the last two years. Jesse is now in the worst possible place. Thirty days is going to seem like a forever for the next issue to come out. Overall grade: A+

The art: The first page of this issue shows Sandor’s thoughts. There are several conflicting images: a sabertooth tiger skull, men with guns in silhouette, animal traps, grenades, a child’s toy plush horse, a burning feather, bees, and clenched eyes. Sandor is in an inserted circular panel looking at the reader. Two other circular panels appear showing Jesse and her mother. Accompanied by the narration, this page accurately gives an insight to the dog’s mind. The full-paged splash on 2 has Sandor in the woods at night, looking tense as he searches for his child. The scenes between Kyle and Zarza are frightening given how Kyle is shown; his change of character at the bottom of Page 3 creates an incredibly ominous tone. The man’s action on the next page is shocking. The look of pain at the bottom of 6 is terrific, giving some sympathy to this once antagonistic character. 7 has some great flashbacks that become painful to look at with the narration that punctuates each panel. Artist Rafael de Latorre does a terrific job with characters’ emotion on all the pages that follow. The book has several conversations and in each of them what the characters show to others, as well as hide, punches up their dialogue: Kyle’s look away on 9, the reluctance in the middle panels on 13, the intensity on 15, the anger that ends 17, the dead looks of the others on 19, and the shock on 20. In addition to the characters, the settings are incredible. The location on 10 is great and de Latorre gets to do several close-ups of buildings as well as their interiors. The setting shown on 16 is beautiful, but also scary for all the empty space. I love the look of this book. Overall grade: A+

The colors: There are some wonderful colors on this book from Rob Schwager with Dee Cunniffe. Beginning with the thoughts of Sandor, look at the terrific miasma of colors on the first page: harsh orange, baby blue and green, violet, flaming orange, murky blues, and violets gone white. The harsh red that borders the dog’s thoughts on Page 2 increases the silent rage of Sandor. The action on 4 has the background go orange, while crimson shows the damage to one character. There’s a neat lighting effect on 10 that makes this new setting seem like Heaven. When a new character debuts on 11 she’s clothed in purple, the color that symbolizes royalty. Oranges return for the issue’s shocker on 14 and it slowly turns to red on 15. When the conversation occurs on 16 and 17 take note at how the new character is colored darker than her debut, suggesting that there’s something dark within this character. The colors become brightly simplistic on 19, mirroring a character’s new life. The colors darken on the final page, closing the book in a sinister tone. Wow. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Marshall Dillon creates this issue’s narration and dialogue (the same font), scene settings, emotional thoughts, sounds, and whispered dialogue. The shape of the balloons and their colors differentiate Sandor’s thoughts from the rest of the book’s dialogue. That’s fine, but I would have liked to have seen it italicized, as it is a different form of communication. I do like when the dog has an emotional thought, since the font grows in size and thickness. The scene settings continue to be neat to see, looking like frail block letters, without their familiar strength in this new world order. The whispered dialogue makes characters’ words more emotional and the words italicized in dialogue really makes their speech sound more natural. Overall grade: A-

The final line: Sandor looks for Jesse, unaware that’s she arrived in the worst possible place. Intense reading with characters to root for and visuals to thrill and shock. It doesn’t get better than this, folks! This issue serves as a good jumping in point for this series. Overall grade: A

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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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