Of all the Double Take tiles Rise has been one of, if not the one I’ve enjoyed the most. Unfortunately, this issue dips some for me. It’s just not as strong as the previous two issues and while it’s not bad, it’s hard not to be a little disappointed when your favorite declines. I will instantly tell you that I’m not worried about the title though. Having read the rest of the third issues from Double Take’s shared universe, I can see that there is a strong sense of where this universe and all of its stories are going, even if we can’t see the forest from the trees just yet. What I do like about Rise is that it seems to be ahead of the timeline for the most part. We’re further along here than in Medic and Honor which seem to be the other two titles that are ahead of the curve. In this issue we see everyone in the hospital quarantined in the nicest possible way… as in they don’t know they’re being quarantined.
Johnny begins looking for Barbara and Amy after being informed that everyone has been moved inside the “safe zone” and we see not one, but two of the other zombie powers come to play. The first is that random look at Johnny and say, “Amy” to him. Now he doesn’t acknowledge it, but then we don’t know how he’s been affected yet. The other is when Johnny finds Amy and she kisses him instantly. Something we’ve seen in Dedication and Medic.
This issue is pretty mellow which is fine. The first two have been go, go, go and so slowing down here to let the other titles catch up doesn’t bother me. What does is not knowing where Barbara is or why Amy has her legged wrapped suddenly. Neither are explained. Also as I mentioned in my Medic review, we’re told what’s up with the story narration that doesn’t tie into the pictures on the page. That’s intentional to give them a personable touch. Which is fine. It’s a story device I’ve commented on and enjoyed since the first issues, but here it doesn’t work. When we have too many questions like, why’s Amy hurt, where’s Barbara and why are they suddenly handing things out… well the story feels distracting and forgettable. There was too much going on and while the story is good, I’d rather have had some real conversations about what’s going on.
Don’t get me wrong, the art is strong and holds the narrative on its own for the most part, but those deeper questions that are never shown really make you scratch your head. The art also changes on this issue. It’s not as good as the previous two and the three artists working on the issue aren’t in sync with each other yet. Other titles have had two issues to get there, but this is the first for Rise so it’s choppy in places. A few of the panels are awkward and fail to add to the story. Also the coloring suffers from the same lack of cohesion with three colorists on the book.
Like I said, it’s not a bad issue, but it seems like it’s starting over in a few places. It feels more like the first issue than the third. Whereas the other Double Take titles where already constructed in a way to ensure their growth, Rise feels as if it took a step back to regroup and now it’s trying to play catch up. Again, I’m not worried, but it is a shame to see it dip. Hopefully the fourth issue will bring it back to the top of my list.
Rise #3 – “You Can’t Go Home Again” Story: Michael Coast, Bill Jemas, Jeff McComsey Script: Jeff McComsey, Ed Gavagan Layouts: Stan Chou Pencils: Federica Manfredi, Novo Malgapo, Fernando Melek Publisher: Double Take Comics Price: $2.50 Release Date: 2/24/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital