I’m not sure if it’s saying much if you’ve read my most recent Sundowners review, but this was by far my favorite issue since the premiere. Thanks to a mixture of more focused storytelling, interesting action scenes, and a greater sense of the apocalyptic stakes, Sundowners looks to be doing a turnaround from the type of early death that one of its characters faces this week. The change from the previous issue that really helps Sundowners is that it finds interesting pairings for the characters we first met in the Sundowners support group. Things open with Citizen as he dukes it out Andrea’s crazy ex, who believes that he’s an arbiter of justice from God. With a fight scene that proves both a bit gory and realistic, things are off to a good start, Citizen fighting in his broken mask and getting his face mashed in.
Meanwhile Dr. David Shrejic heads to Tila aka Crowlita’s apartment to retrieve her wallet, finding her in the state readers saw her in last issue. Shrejic finally begins to develop some dimensions in this issue as he’s torn between his natural instinct to save his own skin, and potentially doing a decent thing for once. It was fantastic to finally feel something other than utter disgust toward Shrejic, even if it was just disgust to a lessened degree. Then there’s Karl Volf who’s hanging out in a church, contemplating his recent transformation thanks to the mysterious Illumintraix society. Volf’s arc, while isolated from most of the major characters, provides the bulk of insght about what’s going on in the world of Sundowners, finally shedding some light into what may become the Sundowners’ major mission following this arc.
Jim Terry gets a couple great moments to push his art, especially with Crowlita’s return to what may or may not be a hallucinatory vision of a hellish landscape. This time the vision focuses on a werewolf like being as it bursts from Crowlita, the image unnerving with its blood red coloring and David Lynchian creatures. Even Andrea gets a wonderful full-page image as she rejects her public persona, and bursts out into her Arcanika suit. Somehow Terry makes this image powerful, and over the top in the most appropriate way possible, the script cutting away from her fight since its conclusion is understood just from her stance.
Although I’m hesitant to say that things are sure to only get better from here on out for Tim Seeley and Jim Terry’s comic, this issue bodes well for its immediate future. So long as the comic continues with this level of focus on its story issue by issue and further develops its characters in nuanced ways, it could make a return to the stack of comics I countdown to reading.
Writer: Tim Seeley Artist: Jim Terry Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: Release Date: 11/26/14 Format: Print/Digital