I think this is my new favorite week in comics as so many great titles have released. Thomas Alsop is definitely in my top five for books being published, but could find itself sitting at the top. This issue left me foaming at the mouth for more of the story and really I just couldn’t believe how damn good it was. After the first two issues I knew it would be good because it’s too early in the story to drop the ball, but this good!?! I never imagined. I almost thought about breaking our rating scale, but I already did that this week. Thomas makes a terrible discovery in the last issue and I wondered how it would be handled. I’m not going to spell it out for you, but he’s discovered a massive amount of souls trapped in New York… you can do the math from there. This makes him a wreck because he realizes he’s failed as the Hand of the Island. He needs information and since the Island doesn’t really talk/nudge him like it does his predecessors he uses his backup plan of getting as close to death as possible. For him this means a planned overdose on pills and booze, but not before he confesses his failure on his blog in a drunken haze. He texts his agent/friend as well since his girlfriend is gone and he doesn't actually want to die form the overdose. There’s something up with the girlfriend, I just don’t know what yet.
Now I must find the words to talk about the writing…
If Chris Miskiewicz isn’t in high demand after this series then there’s something wrong with the comic industry. I still think this book is sneaking by people and they should be paying attention because Miskiewicz is making a huge splash and showing what the comic medium is capable of. I’m sure in five years Marvel or DC will be talking about how he’s their "new guy"; meanwhile you and I will remember him from his already phenomenal work here.
The one thing I’ll say about the story is that I don’t want it to end. I know this is a mini-series, but it’s my hope that due to the way the story is set up to be generational that there will be more Alsop stories to come.
Why I was ever on the fence with Palle Schmidt’s artwork is beyond me. The dude is an incredible talent and elevates the art to a new level in this issue. Thomas’ near death experience is incredible. Just the opening page of the transition between life and death is a work of art. I don’t know if Schmidt is watercoloring or digital watercoloring, but the coloring is gorgeous and brings the book to life.
I want to tell you everything about this issue. I want to point out every little detail I saw and throw out my questions and hope for responses back, but more so I just want you to read this story.
The market is always changing. Sometimes I’ll say, “This is one of the best books being published” which is a bold statement when you look at the sales numbers and the sheer amount of titles out there. Well sales figures in my opinion do not equal quality and so while this isn’t Batman or an X-Men title, it is the best issue of the month and that impresses even me with the amount of books I’ve reviewed. Just buy it and if you already are buying it then give it to a friend to read because I guarantee they’ll start buying it too.
Writer: Chris Miskiewicz Artist: Palle Schmidt Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 8/13/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital