Not many series destroy the Universe half-way through, but Trillium did, and it was awesome. However, the story must go on, and it does so here, with a very strange, new Universe being created, with, for some reason, Nika and William switching places.
So, in this issue, we see Nika wake up in 1920s London, living with her sister and suffering with mental problems after the war. Just like the ‘real’ William did. However, there are differences here, as the war that Nika fought in is not the First World War, but the ‘Blue War’, which was fought against, I assume, the Atabithian aliens, so it’s a bit more of steampunk (ugh) world, with alien technology around. Nika seems to be aware that something is wrong with the world, and that feeling continues when she goes to the museum and meets Commander Pohl, who wants to take her on an expedition to the Jungle, again, just like William. She declines, and at home, opens a book, to see a Trillium flower, which causes her to remember William.
As for William, he is of course now living in Nika’s world in the future, fleeing from the Caul and working with his brother on a space-station. William is just waking up from a black-out, where he went wandering out on the barren planet, and for some reason, Essie can’t remember what happened. After witnessing an industrial accident that not only reminds him of WW1, but happens to the future-guy he saw dead in the jungle in #1, William tells his brother that they don’t belong here, and he finally unlocks what happened to him last night, seeing… a hologram of Nika.
This was another very enjoyable, strange issue, and I once again loved how Lemire experimented with layout and structure. Much like #1, this was a ‘flip-book’, but every page had the top half focused on Nika, and the bottom half on William. I loved how each character’s story mirrored the other’s, how the panel layouts were always the same, and how they came together at certain points. I complained in my review of this week’s Batman/Superman, that doing a gimmick like a landscape comic for the sake of it is pointless, but when Lemire does something like this, it’s always in service of the story and making it more interesting.
The art is fantastic and detailed, which really came through in this issue, as he had less space to work with, and he took full advantage of it. Man, this mini is crazy, and I love it, I can’t wait to see where all of this is going, and how mental things can get.