With each issue of Thomas Alsop the question is, “Will it somehow best the last issue?” That’s honestly my question and concern each time I pick up the next issue. You can’t climb the mountain forever and yet somehow this freaking series manages to do just that. The thing is I’m not looking at it in terms of if this issue is better than that issue, but rather can it continue to deliver the same experience and feeling that first won me over and never let go. Things weren’t exactly going to plan last issue for Thomas as he was bum-rushed right at the end. Now a man in the form of smoke has taken Thomas’ box that he needs to complete his spell. He wakes up and chases after it knowing where its stomping grounds are… the subway system.
He boards a subway and uses some magic to keep people away and Ole Smokey sends him flying through the back door of the subway and on to the tracks. Now rather than just taking the “comic book” way out of things, writer Chris Miskiewicz explains that the gang of tattoos that Thomas has across his body actually protects him some from the attack and fall. He barely walks away and really he's in terrible shape. The story then goes on to reveal Ole Smokey’s origin which actually ties into the story of the ship and Richard Alsop aka the first Alsop to be the Hand of the Island.
Ole Smokey’s origin didn’t need to tie back into the story to work, but it was cool to see it do that. I wonder if there will be more, but for now it was just interesting and great to head back to the timeline we opened with once again.
If Miskiewicz just wrote journal entries for the Alsop family I would read it. The narration sucks me in each time and in particular I enjoyed the differences between Thomas’ and Richard’s entries. I’m also loving the growing story behind Thomas’ father, though I don’t see that being 100% resolved by the end of the series. Miskiewicz has done a wonderful job of making the reader interested in his family make up, so much so that I would read a story showing Thomas and his sister growing up in this environment.
Palle Schmidt is unpredictable on the art and I mean that as a compliment. The opening with Thomas thinking back on his father shows the parallels between the two men. Then his design and execution for Smokey is strange, different and yet very fitting for the story. The creature looks like he doesn’t belong in the series and that’s absolutely right because he shouldn’t. It’s easy to forget that Schmidt makes the magic happen and he makes sure that it actually feels and looks magical in Thomas’ world.
With two issues left I don’t know what’s going to happen. It would seem that Thomas is going to take a dirt nap, but will that be before or after he saves the trapped souls?
In the beginning I compared the journey of this series to that of climbing a mountain and that remains true. The other hard truth is that my reviews continue to get shorter and shorter as there’s less that I can talk about as the story draws to a close, which sucks because I want to talk about this issue more and more! So leave a comment and let’s chat, but if you haven’t read the series than fucking hell check it out already.
Writer: Chris Miskiewicz Artist: Palle Schmidt Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/12/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital