Moving on from last week's shoehorned-in side story, things in Red Circle are starting to come full--well, you know--and watching the different threads come together is especially exciting with Tommaso at his sequential storytelling best. Tommaso is a great visual storyteller. Every week I read this comic I'm excited to see what kinds of tricks he has in store for the reader. Reading Dark Corridor is never boring, especially because Tommaso doesn't ever lean too heavily on one particular technique. Where the second issue relied heavily on match cuts to show how unlucky a certain character was over time, Dark Corridor #3 is more action-packed, and has several instances in which a character appears multiple times in the same panel, moving from point A to B.
The variety of storytelling flourishes keeps Tommaso's storytelling fresh, and the unity with which he deploys these techniques in each issue gives them distinct paces, feels, and things to admire. In one of the panels in which a character appears multiple times, her actions take us from left to right, then back across the page to the left. This actually occurs a couple of times, but in one instance, rather than the character continuing to move to the left, the story actually continues to the left.
To be clear, we think of time as passing as the panels go left to right, top to bottom. But when the action in the panel has been moving right-to-left in order to compose an interesting scene, it's a really clever move to allow time to pass, even if only just for a panel, as we go from right to left. It might seem like a very minor, very particular point of interest, but I think it's an interesting storytelling choice. And Tommaso frequently does things like this: he takes an interestingly composed page and really milks it for all its worth, never solely relying on the fact that he's done something novel.
All of this is bolstered by the fact that Dark Corridor #3 is by far the most engaging overall issue of the series so far, as characters start to feel familiar and the stakes are quickly raised to a fever pitch. Of course, a lot of the charm of this issue, at least for me, comes from the sense of place and character I have from the first issue, as well as the "Seven Deadly Daughters" plot-line. It goes to show that Tommaso is not just careful with how he presents story panels, but that the same care goes into the overall episodic narrative itself.
If crime comics aren't your thing, or if you have an irreconcilable fear of pulpyness, this isn’t the comic for you. Outside of that, grab an issue if you’re curious.