In Review: World Reader #5

A dark secret is revealed and death comes, but not from the entity that eats souls.

The cover: Sarah is surrounded by several soldiers, their guns trained on her. She holds her arms up as she begins to emit energy. This is a confrontation that neither side is ready for. Another perfect cover by interior artist Juan Doe. This illustration identifies the heroine and one conflict she will have to overcome. The coloring is primarily different shades of violet and Doe exploits it well to look supernatural, for the energy coming out of Sarah, and to look futuristic, for the illumination on the barrels of the soldiers’ weapons. Overall grade: A

The story: Sarah and Paul are on board the ship they stole and are traveling to the world that their comrades have discovered, the first that might support human life. After sharing a kiss last issue, Paul teases Sarah about her ability to land a ship. Their landing on this world is just as hard, and after a bit of banter, Sarah uses her abilities to sweep the planet to see if alien life once existed there. She sees what the aliens saw before they died: something crashing into their world. This is different from the entity she’s encountered on other worlds that consumes the inhabitants. The discovery she makes on Page 7 is a good one, causing her to exit from her “reading” and tell Paul what she’s learned. This leads to the arrival of characters who have some hard truths for the pair. Jeff Loveness is giving his story a lot of emotional punch with this issue, with some good turnabout from several characters. As if this wasn’t enough of a surprise, something is found on Page 13, followed by a larger surprise on 14. Things escalate and Sarah is on the run with Paul in tow. Just as all seems hopeless, Loveness has the ultimate threat arrive, speaking three chilling words in the final panel. This story ramps up the suspense well, with a cliffhanger that promises even more revelations. Can Sarah survive all that she’s learning? Next issue will have to tell. Overall grade: A

The art and the colors: Juan Doe’s art continues to be spectacular. His design is retro science fiction, though would fit into any modern day sci-fi film. The first page shows Sarah and Paul piloting their ship and their suits look great and the technology surrounding them flawless. The colors are also terrific, with this page using blues to highlight the tech and the violets of their suits to draw attention to them. The final panel has a sensational ship with a spectacular exterior surrounding it. The new planet is instantly alien due to it’s green surface and its fiery orange sky. When Sarah begins to read this world the colors change dramatically to different shades of green; they show the change in her existence and keep things very alien. The item that falls from the sky changes the color scheme to harsh oranges and yellows, increasing the tension in the characters and the reader. These colors continue with the arrival of other characters and the story that one tells. The progression of time on Page 9 is excellent, with the last panel on the page clearly showing the resolution of the speaker. 13 has a surprise revealed and the colors again change, this time returning to the greens shown when Sarah was using her abilities. This change thematically links the past and the present together. A bigger surprise appears on 14, with the last two panels on the page being the “Uh-oh” moment of the book. The action that follows is rapid, with events turning epic on 17 and 18. The arrival on 20 is excellent, as the character emerges from darkness. I’m continually impressed by the visuals and the colors of this series. Overall grade: A

The letters: Rachel Deering creates dialogue, yells, sounds, and an injured individual’s dialogue. The font used in this book looks unlike anything I encounter in other books and that’s a strength. The dialogue is a very stylized font, giving the characters a frantic feel, which emphasizes their quest to find a new home for humanity. When someone yells or gives emphasis in their speech, rather than the font going to italics it is bolded. Given the conflict in the last third of the book, several sound effects are needed, starting small and growing in strength and size as the action continues. I love the lettering on this book. Overall grade: A

The final line: A dark secret is revealed and death comes, but not from the entity that eats souls. The story twists and turns wonderfully, while the art goes where no comic has gone before. This is a science fiction tale that will blow your mind and overload your eyes. Recommended. 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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