If you’ve been following Limbo, then more than likely, like me, you’ve been enjoying the setting of the story. It’s a very strange world, but alive and rich with detail. It’s one of the major things that’s brought me back to the series for three issues now. This third issue, stumbles. Quite a bit. It’s doesn’t fall down into a hole or anything so dramatic, but compared to the first two issues it has some problems. The biggest was the artwork or rather the coloring. The linework itself is the same, very detailed with a great modern style. The coloring has always favored hues less in line with realistic skin tones and such, but it worked in the context of the scenes and the lighting. In this third issue, everyone seems to have their own non-realistic skin hue. Maybe it wasn’t as noticeable to me in the previous issues, but when we see two of our main characters sitting at a diner and they’re both obviously different pastels… it’s kind of strange. Now, it’s not terrible, but it was kind of the first instance of it being that way in this world and that’s why I struggled with it. It was subtle before, but now it’s glaring. The trick that the first two issues used was matching the rest of the scene with one character’s hue so it looked more like lighting than an intentional difference.
As for the story, well it has some fun character moments. When Clay and his friend are shopping for records it’s a cute conversation that builds the world. When we meet the villain of the issue, it’s longwinded and void of context making him not really threatening. He’s more looney than threatening which probably wasn’t what the creators were going for.
The story doesn’t seem to be focusing on Clay all that much. The first issue did, but then in the second issue it shifted over to Sandy a lot more. This issue makes me wonder if I ever knew who the main character was because it seems like Sandy’s story now more than ever. That’s okay, I like her as a character, but I wonder why we spend so much time with Clay then. If it’s both of their stories, then it needs to be a bit more obvious. The narration needs to at some point establish that rather than favoring one character over the other because I’m quickly losing interest in Clay.
For the actual issue, we learn somethings about Clay’s client. He faces a marching band that makes you puke snakes when you listen to their music and there’s a He-Man homage which is pretty cool. It’s a safe issue which doesn’t really wow you a lot, but reveals just enough that you’ll buy the next issue. Unfortunately, it just feels like “that” third issue, just there to get you to the end of the arc, but only contributing the basics.
I’m not giving up on this series, if anything I find it more interesting now because it comes across less and less like a formula book. So many creators have a “formula” to their stories, often times taught to them by their editor at the “big two” that the stories become dull to read. Though I have problems with this issue, it presents an interesting look at honest comic crafting and that definitely helps to bring me back for more. For you, you’ll just have to decide if there’s enough in the issue to hook you for another.
Limbo #3 Writer: Dan Watters Artist: Caspar Wijngaard Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 1/13/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital