Soul has been a book I’ve been rooting for since reading it. It’s just never had that moment that took off for me. Until now. I will forewarn you that there are going to be spoilers in this review because otherwise this would be the shortest review ever because anything I would say about the writing would spoil the story and the same goes for the art. I racked my brains trying to figure out how not spoil it, but came to the conclusion that it would be pointless to review it and I really want to review this book. If you're planning on picking it up, come back on Wednesday and check out the review, I don't mind. This series has been slow. Sure it brought Ben back to life from his sad ending in the movie, but everything after that just moved a little too slow. Or did it? Because as we saw last time Ben and a crazy asshole go head first off the side of a helicopter. I thought for sure, this dude is going to fly. He’s got flying powers and that’s what will be revealed in the next issue… nope. Ben dies. Again. And the wakes up… again. That’s right, Groundhog’s Day mother fuckers! We see Ben wake up in the same spot as before, only this time before going up and getting shot at, he shoots the fucking cop that shot him. This doesn’t go over to well as he eventually ends up on the same helicopter and falling to his death only to wake up again.
The issue continues this and it’s pretty damn good. What’s really smart is the lettering in the background. There’s been phrases running throughout the entire Double Take Universe, but suddenly Ben is getting his own. It’s just not clear if he can see them or if anyone can. Pay attention to them because they hint at the path he’s going to take. There’s a killer cliffhanger at the end. It’s very abrupt, but it works for this story. There’s a few other books that do the same thing this time around and it’s not as successful as it is here. Probably the most successful to do it is Remote, with Soul being a close second (Rise is third).
The writing is clean and concise. There’s not a lot of dialogue and what little there is repeats or is similar, but that’s the point. Ben obviously doesn’t have control over his powers and really who can say if he’ll ever have control over them. Frankly he’s kind of cursed in a way.
The art drives the story because a lot of what Ben is going through and experiencing he’s not saying it out loud. There’s not exposition of him explaining what’s going on. There’s not that cheesy panel in which he tells us, “I must be stuck living the same day over and over” while he looks at his hands for some reason. Instead, Ben just gets to work figuring out how not to fall from a helicopter over and over. The art has improved a great deal since the last issue. My gripe with this series has always been that it felt like it had filler pages, but not this time around. Every panel and page is full of detail and substance. That and it’s consistent. It’s consistent with the start of the series, just more time has been given to the art and coloring.
I hadn’t given up on this book, but with the twist that it offered it made it extremely different from the rest of the Double Take books. In some ways Remote and now Soul have pushed the universe forward a huge step. Soul will never be the same after this issue and frankly if you didn’t like the first three then give it another shot. If you don’t, you’ll be missing out on a huge piece of the puzzle that is the Double Take shared universe.
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