Of all the Double Take books to start with, Honor wasn’t the one I thought I would kick off with. The thing that I will say and likely repeat about these third issues from Double Take, is that a lot has happened in the story and universe. Books that were at the bottom of my list suddenly rose and some at the top found themselves lower than expected. In the last issue we saw Fred Sproles, the crazy tractor driving farmer… die. Pretty brutally. This issue we begin with him waking up in the body bag and standing up. Not uncommon given the events of the universe, but he has strange little worms kinda coming out of his body. He puts out his thumb and tries to hitchhike and wouldn’t you know it… he gets a ride. He and his new friend that is also clearly not right in the head, go into a farm-house and kill a couple. Afterwards Fred shaves his head and beard and comes out looking twenty years younger.
Now… that’s not the best part of the issue. I won’t actually ruin the best part, but we see the Sherriff and his Deputy back in the morgue and it gets messy. This issue and the ending of this scene actually teach us a lot about the world and who is responsible for at least part of this mess. Trust me, it’s good because I’m biting my tongue not to spoil it for you. Medic ties into this issue as well and let me tell you… I will be talking about Medic next which was also a surprise in how much better it got.
I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say that our covers that seem out of left field compared to the story, may in fact be foreshadowing the future. We know that the Double Take Universe is going to jump into the future at some point and there will be super heroes. My guess, the deputy is going to be one of those heroes… and I can’t wait. I will also say that I find that formula brilliant. The problem with new superhero universes is that they don’t have the history to pull from like the big two. Well if you look at the now falling second company, you’ll see that an extensive history is important and Double Take has found an inventive way to manufacture a history for its world. I respect and enjoy the hell out of that.
There’s not a lot of dialogue in this issue. Frankly there doesn’t need to be. A lot of it is visual and what little we get is important to the story and the world. I like the mystery at the moment. It’s very thick and begging for a reveal, but for now, three issues in it works. If we hit five and it’s this thick then we might have a problem, but for now it’s just right. I want to know more and that brings me back to the series and the shared universe.
There’s three artists on the book so I’m not going to talk about any one artist since they’re basically an art team trying to make a fluid style. For the most part they’re successful and the book maintains a consistent look. I loved the layouts for the opening with Fred as he woke up in the bag. It’s all from his POV and it was very creative. There was another great scene that was something out of Serial Mom with blood on a TV that was great as well. Overall the art design is solid. Double Take is clearly more focused on artwork that tells a story and a unified look to their universe rather than highlighting artists and embracing their style. It’s interesting because comics usually are the other way around, but right now it works. The art supports the story and drives the narrative without narration or dialogue to support it. While it may not be the flashiest art, its very strong at telling the story and that's important in this medium.
We’re still learning how to read Double Take books. That’s something I mentioned in my previous reviews because the editorial team and the creative team are not trying to pump out what’s become the norm for comics. They really are experimenting with new storytelling techniques and I welcome it because it shows how amazing this medium is. What helps it though is that you have ten issues supporting one another. I really don’t see how anyone could be satisfied just following one series and while it seems crazy to read all ten, I find it incredibly enjoyable to do so. Imagine reading an entire comic universe step by step all in one week? Well you can and it’s a formula that I support. That isn't to say you couldn't just read each series on it's own, but its so much better with the other nine.
Honor #3 – “Blood Brigade” Story: Bill Jemas Script: Bill Jemas, Frank Ortega Layouts: Julian Rowe, Stan Chou Pencils: Jose Luis, Julian Rowe, Brent Peeples Colorist: Carlos Lopez Publisher: Double Take Comics Price: $2.50 Release Date: 2/24/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital