The subtitle for this issue should be, “holy hell did that shit just happen and why do I have to wait another damn month for this series.” Wiebe works magic with this issue and while the entire thing is spectacular from start to finish, it all comes down to the last five pages. Here is where the meat and potatoes are and it’s magnificent. Seriously I was enraged when it came to a close because it’s going to be a very long month waiting for the next chapter. Old Felix and young Felix aren’t really that different; they’re both tough as nails and full of touching insights that others can’t see. The issue begins in rare form as we start with John and Felix in the church in whence they met. John has picked out another piece from Felix’s memories and so begins the next stage of the story.
Felix is out smoking a pipe when John (Wendy’s brother) and Michael (the other brother) come to talk to him. They want to help and no one will take them seriously and they feel that Felix will after being in the barn with them. He hears them out, but he shoots them down as well. Afterwards, the representative from the Deuxieme Bureau arrives and as Felix puts it, “he should never have come.” The simple meeting throws our peaceful times out the window as two very important plot lines emerge for the wreckage of this tale.
This story wants to be happy. The world wants to be happy and Wiebe is more than happy to give you moments of happiness, but then quickly reminds you that war is hell. As much as this story and characters try to be happy they are in a war and there is nothing but tragedy promised for them. There are two events in this issue that stand out and while the ending is obvious and one of the two, the other is hidden by the ending. It distracts you so I will say that it’s important to pay attention. I could be wrong, but I doubt I am since so much attention was drawn to it before distracting you. Wiebe is at his best and I’m so damn thankful that this series has picked up sales and is continuing because when it’s completed it’s going to be a crown jewel in the world of comics.
That art is equally impressive in this issue and while we’re not privy to as many snowy landscapes, the artistic integrity is intact. There’s definitely a lot of water color and classic inking used in this issue, but I’m not sure if there’s a digital element to it as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a combination of the three, but it could just be the two. It’s striking and brilliant for the story and Jenkins continues to grow as an artist. Also, I wish I could gush about the second to last page. It’s phenomenal so play close attention to the skill that Jenkins’ uses to execute the scene.
This is not the best issue to jump in on since you’ll have no damn idea what is happening, but even still everyone needs somewhere to start. If you are new to the series then you’re in for a treat and if those last five pages don’t sell you on the series then nothing will. If this was my first time reading it, you can bet your ass I’d go back and get the other eleven issues because of it and I wouldn’t be disappointed either. It’s going to be a long damn month, but issues like this are what make comics worth waiting for.
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Artist: Tyler Jenkins
Publisher: Image and Shadowline Comics
Release Date: 7/10/13