By Laramie Martinez
I’m going to run this review backwards this time. For those of you who have read issues 1 & 2, you know that Ether usually ends with a flashback of Boone’s past. The structure itself is not surprising, typically in comics, as in most entertainment media, there are main plots and a subplot. With the main plots being the reason you read the book or watch the show, and the subplot being something fun or interesting on the side. In the case of Ether, however, I am just as intrigued by Boone’s past, as I am with his current mystery. I have been impressed by what Kindt has been able to cram into these last few pages of each issue. We have a clear sense of Boone as a person, as well as his relationship with his former love Hazel. I also have new questions after reading each issue which is a great thing for an introductory arc of a new series. The dynamic of these flashbacks have a brilliant balance to them, and we can see that balance in other parts of the series as well.
In a way, the entire book is about balance, boundaries, and equilibrium. The balance between worlds is being torn apart and as we see from the flashbacks. Boone appears to have become obsessive with his work to the point where he has disrupted the harmony of his relationship with Hazel. This discord is also present in the fantasy world of Ether where the guardian of law and order has been killed and the only person who can restore harmony is ironically the one whose own life has been nothing but chaos, due to an overwhelming obsession. I get the feeling that Kindt is setting up some kind of self-realization for Boone, perhaps by the end of the arc he will finally have to confront his addiction to all things Ether, perhaps the safety of Ether itself will depend on it.
But enough of my speculation. Let's dive into what was good about this issue. I don’t want to spoil anything for you all but let's just say my speculation above isn’t unfounded and plot wise, this book has a bit of a twist at the end which I believe will make it so Boone will have to confront his situation. It’s a good wind in the narrative road and I think it goes further to link the flashbacks with the current mystery.
David Rubin continues to be amazing. We’re introduced to a whole new species this arc and Rubin does a great job incorporating attributes which are familiar and those which are a little out there, to have a wonderfully bizarre design. The panel layouts are also impressive, utilizing movement for some interesting effects. I’m always happy to read this comic, just to see the new ways Rubin can shape a page.
It looks like Kindt is heading towards some kind of revelation. Maybe a convergence of the two plot lines we’ve seen in the series so far.
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: David Rubin
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics