In Review: World Reader #6

The story is fantastic and the imagery will blow your mind.

The cover: Sarah is walking somewhere cosmic, as shown by the planets speeding behind her. Energy rips out of her eyes in violets that match her suit, suggesting she’s witness to something she shouldn’t be. The colors behind Sarah make this a trippy frontpiece. Excellent tease by interior artist and colorist Juan Doe for this final issue. Overall grade: A

The story: This is the confrontation that this series has been building to: Sarah is face to face with the tall alien that’s been destroying the spirits of the aliens whose dead worlds they visit. He reaches out to her and takes her hand. She lets loose with an explosion of psychic energy which rips into him, forcing him to his knees. She screams, “You killed all those people! All those worlds! Why?! Who are you?!” He mutters something indecipherable and falls to the ground. She rushes forward and he jumps up, blasting her back with energy from himself. Relenting, he offers her a hand and he pulls her up from her knees. She has so many questions and she needs answers, after all, he did kill everyone in her ship’s crew last issue, as well as all the aliens they just discovered. When asked his name, he replies, “Avin.” With his name, she continues to press, again asking why he killed life on all the worlds. “Is that what you think?…It was so empty…” It’s here that writer Jeff Loveness tells the tale of the mysterious creature known as Avin. In doing so, the curtain is pulled back to reveal who he is and what he’s been doing. For all the violence that Sarah has seen, her opinion of Avin changes, as will the reader’s. Avin’s quest is one that anyone would take if the opportunity arose, but it took a dark turn and now the creature is done. However, Sarah is by his side, and that’s something that’s not happened before. This reader is going to change him, in a simple, brilliant human way. Loveness ends this tale the only way it can: cosmically and god-like, but with the influence of a human. It’s that final inclusion that matters in the end: just one human. The story ends with Sarah’s character bringing influence to the universe. A stellar way to show the power of one. Overall grade: A

The art and colors: I’m an official fan of Juan Doe because of this series (and if you are, too, you should check out Dark Ark #1 which recently published from AfterShock!), so I’m going to biased in my review. One of the draws of this book have been the visuals, the art and the colors for which he’s responsible. The story has to have Doe creating alien environments on a cosmic scale with the characters employing energies beyond the knowledge of man. That’s no easy order for any artist, but look at how well he achieves these demands. The first panel of the book establishes the characters’ size and features, surrounded by a red swath of destruction. The energy that Sarah unleashes on the second page is powerful and beautiful, with the second panel having the color scheme of a 60s concert poster. When the human takes Avin’s hand at the bottom of 3, notice how the colors become a swirl of cool green to pacify all the rage that’s occurred. Avin’s constant swirl of tall hair makes it appear that he’s co-existing on another plane. The antagonist’s backstory goes for several pages, showing his humble beginnings, his decision to make a choice, and what came of that choice. This is an epic story and Doe is able to visually tell it in succinctly, even if it covers millions of years. The splash on Page 15 is my favorite of the issue as it has Sarah making a choice and it’s beautiful. The final page is truly touching for where it shows Sarah heading. The visuals are a perfect match for this story. Overall grade: A

The letters: Dave Sharpe steps in this issue to close out the story and his style matches the previous installments. This series has always employed a very unique look to the letters, with the narration and dialogue looking more like an alternative press book, which in turn makes the text seem closer to the characters than the polished text of other books. It’s only when Sarah yells, such as on Page 2, that Sharpe’s familiar style appears — these letters look like those found in the best Green Lantern comic books. The whisper that starts the third page had me straining my eyes and pulling the book closer to me so that I could see what’s said. This is an excellent way to literally pull the reader into the story. Overall grade: A

The final line: A terrific conclusion to the most cosmic tale in comics. The story is fantastic and the imagery is mind blowing. World Reader will rock your world. 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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