When I started cracking into the fifth issues from Double Take, I discovered that several of them were more in line with a first issue than a fifth issue. And hey, that’s a good thing. How often do new readers and publishers complain about that very aspect of comics? Then I remembered Soul, which had a fantastic fourth issue and it took three issues to get there. The thought of this issue rebooting to a first issue status was not exciting for me. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. The issue does still manage to recap new readers and give some context to the story, but still manages to continue the interesting thing about the fourth issue, which I will now spoil for you.
Ben, one of our few characters to come from The Night of the Living Dead, is stuck repeating the same day over and over. He continues to wake up the morning of his death in the film. The fourth issue revealed several situations in which Ben didn’t make it out and ended back up at this starting point. In this issue he makes a different choice and decides to barricade the basement. To his and our surprise, the couple that went crazy in the film are alive/undead and similar to the gammas. The question is… will Ben make it out of the basement alive?
As I’ve said in a previous review, I really do get the impression that things are fluid in the creative decisions for all of the Double Take titles. For instance, the first three issues gave only one possible hint of Ben’s situation and really it was more of a hint to what was up with the dead husband. The fourth issue was great, but it was almost as if they kept writing bigger and bigger scenes and got to the point that they didn’t like where Ben’s story was going. So they hit the reset button. And I’m okay with that. Granted, this is all speculation on my part, but I liked being back in the basement and seeing Ben taking on a supporting cast because he seemed like he needed it.
The writing is on point in this issue. I enjoyed the dialogue and having Ben express his pain out loud in a believable way. Also the characters that appear in this series are very consistent with their characterization in other titles. That’s key to the shared universe experience.
As for the art, it continues to improve on this series. That was one of my earliest complaints about this series, the art just seemed to struggle and contain a lot of filler. Now, we have rich backgrounds and a lot of details on the characters and items they interact with. The three colorists on the title also do a consistent job making it look like one colorist unless you’re really trying to pick it apart.
This was a series that I wanted to enjoyed, but didn’t. I stuck with it though because all of the books in the shared universe pose some intrigue to me. It’s an experiment in a way and I just find myself really drawn to it. I want to see what happens, how long it can be maintained and I hope that other comic readers are having fun and being entertained. Because Soul is now a very entertaining title that has risen on my Double Take pecking order.
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Soul #5 Story/Script: Michael Coast Layouts: Jonathan Ashley, David Reuss, Michael Oppenheimer Pencils: Ricardo Sanchez, Tomas Aira, Adriano Vicente Publisher: Double Take Comics Price: $2.50 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital