It’s not that I wrote off Dedication too early, it’s just that it wasn’t one of the stronger series when Double Take launched its shared universe. I stayed with it because when a company has the guts to release all ten of their books at the same time it’s kind of hard not to. I mean if any other publisher with a shared universe said “here’s all of our titles this month, but they’re all out this week” I think you’d pay attention and be curious about all of them. It's a unique reading experience, that's for sure. Now, Dedication is either the first or second book that I read. This strange little story about a grocery store got it’s hooks into me deep. As the Double Take universe has rolled on its continued to reveal a little more of the puzzle each time. The first issues set the stage for everything and the second issues continued that; while the third issues started to reveal real secrets and set the stage for the jump to the future. The fourth issues seem to answer a lot of questions posed by the first three issues and the reveals are plenty. Dedication has had a lot of questions asked throughout the course of the series so it was nice not only to get some answers, but to be really impressed by them. I’ll try to keep the spoilers out the review so you won’t get the answers you’re looking for here, but again… it’s pretty fucking cool.
The part I’ll tell you is that George makes a list of other business and starts calling them up. Why? Well it’s unclear until he’s talking to the owner of the gas station that two of his employees inadvertently set on fire. Hands down I fell in love after this sequence. I don’t know what he’s planning, but I can’t wait to see more of his adventures. I suspect he’ll become some kind of mentor figure to the kids working at the grocery store, but we’ll see. If it’s how I think it’ll go down, I’m on board. And don’t worry the story spends time with the teens that have been kissing and putting their fingers back on after getting bitten off and of course there’s more kissing.
There’s a big jump in the storytelling. There’s more dialogue, but it doesn’t bloat the issue. We still have our character driven stories being told in the background, but with the addition of dialogue it feels more at home. The pacing of the story is perfect. The beats hit at all the right spots and it controlled the flow of the story wonderfully. It also made it a really quick read which isn’t a complaint, but I was kind of surprised by how quickly I made it through the comic, but how much I had learned about the characters and the series/universe.
This is true of all the Double Take books, but the art is getting better and better. The art really controls the pacing of the story and so everything I said about the beats and speed of the story stems from the art. The characters started out kind of forgettable, but now after a few issues they’re rather distinct. And kudos Young Keller and Dean Kotz for illustrating so many distinct background characters as well. It gives the series and world a feeling of being alive.
Before I get out of here, I will add that the extra material added to the issue is great and welcomed. There’s a character list with names and details about them. New one panel New Yorker style cartoons and a letter page. There’s some different material in different issues as well, but all of this is welcomed in my book. I like it. I like the little bit extra that’s been added when so many comics just focus on the reading experience and less on what has made comics feel like comics for generations.
This is going to be a hard issue to top. Which is a good thing. I thought that I would be reading this series just to read the entire line of books, but now it’s one of my favorites. Which is seriously crazy to me looking back at my review for the first issue. I’m glad though because if I had stopped reading it I never would have seen George put that guy in a sleeper hold.
Dedication #4 Story: Michael Coast, Bill Jemas, Young Heller Script: Matthew Summo, Mike Soviero, Bill Jemas Layouts: Young Heller, Dean Kotz Pencils: Dean Kotz Colorist: Leonardo Paciarotti Publisher: Double Take Comics Price: $2.50 Release Date: 6/1/16