What fascinated me about this book was the fact that it went in a completely different direction than I was expecting, but managed to come out even more interesting. The Secret Files was a great issue, but it was just the opening to the series. This issue is very good as well and once again has the narrative working opposite of the art. It’s great in the fact that it projects a cool and calm setting with the narration, but the art work depicts something violent and confusing. The issue begins with a great sequence of panels of people attacking each other and a question about your own mind. It then moves onto an airplane two years before our story begins. Suddenly, everyone on the plane has no idea who they are or how they got there… including the pilots. After a few minutes Control radio’s them and they let Control know that they’re going to need help landing the plane. Two years later the news is looking for a story to fill the day and the anniversary of the flight is just the right fit.
Meru is watching/listening to the news as she tries to find something to drink in her apartment. She’s a broke struggling novelist that’s on her last dime after being in a writing slump for two years (I'm guessing that's an important detail that will come up later). The news report gives her a great idea and she calls her agent Charile to tell him. He isn’t surprised that the idea is based off of the anniversary of the amnesia flight, but encourages her to write anything at this point. Meru proclaims that she is going to find the one passenger missing from the flights manifest and crack the story once and for all. Broke and with nothing to lose she begins interviewing people who were on the flight while analyzing her own life.
This story captures true human nature with some of the best writing of the story being the beginning on the plane; the passenger’s quick and simple reactions that were startling real. A couple that was holding hands stare at each other not knowing who the other is and the same goes for others all over the plane. The dialog between the flight attendants was also spot on as one of them begins to cry as she tells everyone to stay calm. You can tell that she can’t even believe the words that she’s saying, but it's the natural thing to say in the situation. Just this opening scene was enough to grab my interest in the rest of the book.
There’s another great scene later on in the book where the narration speaks to how typical the story is going, but the way it does it gives the reader the indication that they’ve been fooled themselves into thinking that this average. It’s as if our experience is being controlled as much as the character’s experience is. That’s something very cool and different to pull off in comics; to have the narrator move the story along and then reveal that in a way, they’re pulling the strings and you’re not privy to everything they know. Instead of a narration at that point it’s more of a conversation that you’ve overheard.
The art is as great as the Secret Files and Kindt continues to surprise me with his simple style that contains an abundance of emotions. I’ve literally never read another comic that has this type of style that can do so much in terms of body language and emotions. There are artists that poor hours of details into their characters to get the right expression only to have them look ridiculous. Kindt’s style gives him the ability to portray: confusion, depression, anger, fear and so much more without being too so complex that it's lost in the details.
This book is something special. The story has so much potential and longevity that I see it going on for years. Add the fact that Kindt is writing the story's history on the front and back cover and you’re getting a heck of a package. Do not miss out on this book! I know I praise everything “Indie”, but this book is going to be one of those titles that breaks that labeling and will be enjoyed by all comic readers as long as they're willing to give it one issue to hook them. Let this be that issue.
Writer/Artist: Matt Kindt Publisher: Dark Horse Originals Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/23/12