Review: Theremin #4

Why yes that is the writer and artist of this series on the cover. You probably won’t catch that at first, but I will tell it is. Also… this issue is impossible to talk about without spoiling the basic premise of the issue so I understand if you want to read the book for yourself and not this review. If you have stuck around then let’s get to it.

This issue is very experimental for a comic book. Part of me thinks it works very well and another part of me is still on the fence. The thing about the issue is that writer/creator Curt Pires has written himself into the story a la Adaptation style… kind of. That’s the closest comparison at least.

The story is venturing through his writer’s block for the fourth issue (that you’re reading). Now whether that writer’s block is real or if this is just a clever experiment it doesn’t really matter. What the issue is dealing with is what do you do as a creator when you’ve killed your main character? Now see the part of me that was straddling the fence just jumped off on the side that feels this issue “does work.”

Why does it work? Why is it possibly one of the most important issues in all of comics? Because it’s comics. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but for a moment let’s think about this from a different perspective.

Let’s say that this was the issue after Daredevil was killed, really you can replace Daredevil with any other character it doesn’t matter. For now though Daredevil is dead and this is the next issue. What happens? Anything can happen. Anything. It can be an issue explaining how he actually cheated death or just his friends dealing with his death. It can be the effect of his death on other superheroes that only know the mask. What you don’t see is the creators stuck. You don’t see them trying to figure out what to do next because really anything they do we’ll buy. Even if we don’t like it a percentage of the readership will stick with it just to see what happens. The point is, we don’t need to be a part of that discussion or process and yet here we are… a part of it.

Theremin_04-1This issue could have very easily picked up with the last page and a half and the audience would have been none the wiser. Instead, Pires and Rose inject reality into this series making it art. I don’t know what else to call it. It’s fucking art.

In a strange way they hit the reset button on the series which was growing in complexity and while that hasn’t gone anywhere, we’re at least working with a new setting. Frankly I’ve never been more interested in this series. If Pires does truly write this issue to issue then he is one of the few writers that are truly creating a unique comic experience.

Though the story follows Pires, Rose is the hand drawing the hand. The book becomes very Meta because of his visuals bringing the world to life. He manages to make Pires’ world different from the one we’ve seen in Theremin up unto this point and when the story switches back he makes sure that you know it; that you’re aware of the switch through the visuals alone. And yet with that said the book never looks foreign, but fits right in with the rest of the series.

Without Rose this issue doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. It becomes an experiment at that point, but not a successful one. His visuals bring out the melancholy feelings that emit from Pires’ writer’s block. There are so many scenes I would love to dissect and gush about, but my descriptions wouldn’t due his fine artwork justice.

Lastly I will talk about Ryan Ferrier’s lettering. Yes even the lettering plays a huge role in this story. Ferrier’s lettering gives the dialogue and narrative a poetic look. The words roll off the tip of your tongue like licking a lolly pop they’re that sweet. The best lettering in the issue is “Ignored.” You’ll have to see why for yourself, but it’s presented in a way that you feel their delivery.

I really want to give this book a scale breaking score like 20/5 because it’s worth the value of four other 5/5 issues, but I’m serious when I say that this is one of the most important comic books that have been created in all of comics history. It’s an incredible issue for many reasons and so I want people who only look at the score not to see it breaking the scale and think that I’m fanboying about this series. In the meantime I can’t stress enough how much you should spend a dollar on this issue. A dollar. You’re ripping the creators off, but hey they set the price so get the issue; no excuses.

Score: 5/5… ah fuck it, 20/5

Writer: Curt Pires Artist: Dalton Rose Letterer: Ryan Ferrier Publisher: Monkey Brain Comics Price: $.99 Release Date: 1/29/14