In less than 10 issues, Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta have created a huge, epic world in this title, and I’m really enjoying how each issue of this current arc is focusing on one specific character and revealing more about them, whilst at the same time continuing Death’s quest to find his son.
I’ll start with that stuff, because it’s relatively short, Death and his two companions are going down that strange spiral staircase that came out of the sea, and have been doing so for 2 days apparently. Death knows where to go though, because apparently he helped to build this structure, and that it’s a prison. Death plants a flower in front of one patch of wall, which opens up a door for him, which he enters, to see ‘The Oracle’, who is chained up, and man, she is creepy looking. She’s got a big bulbous brain, and there are tentacles coming out of her eyes, not the prettiest visual. Death is willing to offer something in exchange for the location of his son, but what is it he’s willing to trade? We’ll have to wait until next issue to find out. Hickman is taking it slowly with this plot, which is odd considering how quickly things moved for Death in the first arc, but I don’t mind, as it allows for more focus on supporting characters.
The character under the spotlight this time is President LeVay, who has returned to the White Tower to find that there is unrest in the city, and people are rioting against her. It’s not clear why they are rioting, as the public can’t know about the 3 Horsemen, surely? But it doesn’t matter why, really, just that they are, as a flashback reveals that one of the biggest demands the Horsemen made of LeVay was that she keep the people in order, that their plans require a sedate populace. If LeVay can’t keep ‘the cattle’ under control, well, then they’ll just kill her like they did everyone else and find somebody to replace her. This is a great explanation for just why LeVay gets so hands on at the end of the issue, going down onto the streets to question some protestors herself. She basically asks them what it will take to make them stop, attempting to bribe them, and when they refuse… she shoots 3 of them in the head and allows the other to go free and spread the word. It looks like LeVay isn’t going to use politics or diplomacy to restore order, she’s just going to scare the shit out of everyone. I bet FOX News wouldn’t give Obama nearly as much crap if they knew he was willing to kill people in cold blood.
Nick Dragotta’s art was fantastic as always, I mentioned the creepiness of The Oracle, and that is obviously all down to him. Everything else looks great too, and Frank Martin’s colours also continue to be fantastic. This is a great looking book on top of the fascinating story. This issue added a much more modern political element to things, and really, this book is becoming a hybrid of so many awesome genres, science fiction, western, apocalyptic horror, and now, politics. Hickman is ambitious, perhaps overly so most of the time, but here, that ambition is paying off big time, each issue brings something new and exciting.