Well I’m still reviewing this series. That should say something about it right? I wasn’t too impressed with the ending of the last issue, but it looked to be well received if online comments are to be believed. Last issue we met God… kind of. That’s the thing, I don’t think it’s supposed to be god, but rather it’s the being the fulfills the role in the Christian bible. The reason I say that is from the dialogue here he, meaning the weird pile of flesh and teeth which is actually just cover a smaller being that looks like a nut-sack, mentions section leaders, angels and demons. Plus there’s the whole computer program thing. I could be wrong and it’s simply “god”, but it seems like there’s something more complex going on than just “this is god.” On Jude’s side of the story he begins to free people from purgatory. Only it’s not just purgatory, its heaven and hell. Which I thought was pretty apparent that they were all connected due to the way the computer guys were talking in the last issue, but I guess Jude had to discuss it at some point. Then he and Hemingway run into Seraphims.
This issue is actually more interesting to talk about than it was to read. To be honest it was kind of dull. Now that it’s venturing into the nuts and bolts of the world it’s lost a lot of the mystery that I stayed around to learn about. Sure we still don’t understand everything, but the fact that it’s just heaven, hell and purgatory as a computer program of sorts… well that’s not exactly new and it’s never really interesting.
There are some annoyances with this issue. Jude is suddenly really good about using his powers and his meager, “what should I do” persona is already gone. His character development is taking leaps rather than climbing at a believable rate and so he really comes across as a completely different character now. Hemingway is reduced to a sidekick in this issue. I wasn’t a fan of him in the last issue, but he doesn’t do anything in this issue and there’s nothing characteristic to the man at all. He’s just the old dude that shouts exposition when needed. His character growth was in the opposite direction, plummeting in this issue.
The only redeeming aspect of the issue is again the art by Gabo. If the art wasn’t as consistent as it is then I honestly believe that this story would be very confusing. Gabo’s art is honestly one of the few things that brings me back and while I haven’t been grossed out by his version of “god”, I could see some being put off by it in the best of ways.
What I don’t get is that the recap in the beginning of the issue makes this story sound a lot better than it is. There’s interesting aspects of the story, but it’s inconsistent with its pacing and characters. Sometimes it drags, other times it speeds forward and frankly all that’s doing is making me question why I’m putting myself though the experience. What’s worse is that the series seems to falling into “average” territory at an alarming rate which is really boring to read. But hey, maybe I’m just not a “here’s my take on heaven and hell” type of guy.
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov Artist: Gabo Publisher: Oni Press Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/17/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital