The Unwritten #6
Damn it. I wish Carey were a better writer. I really do. I truly enjoyed the first five issues of this story. It was engrossing, magical and different. Carey wove a tale that took literature, both real and imagined, and blended with his new world to create a world where anything can happen.
Issue 5 was a brilliant stand alone issue that detailed Kipling's involvement with the society behind the scenes in this book. Now with this issue we return to the world of Tom. He is on trail for the deaths that happened at the house last seen in issue four. Problem is, as brilliant as five was, it killed the momentum of the story.
There is a slight recap here to catch up the reader, but it feels like a chapter is missing. I am not quite following why Tom is being blamed for this. I guess that is part of what issue five was for, was to show us that you don't fuck with the society, they will make you regret it. However, either because part of the narrative is missing or because this allusive bit of analogy from the last issue is supposed to explain it, or even worse, I have forgot - which should be simple in the graphic narrative, simple cues would recall the action I am missing -, here we find a story removed from itself. Regardless of why it feels that way, it feels that way and Carey's little tricks with web feeds and a blog from an insider only do more damage.
To make it worse, he starts throwing in the pot with the kitchen sink. Now Hexam is being guided by random books she asks questions too, there is a father (I believe from the society) reading Tom's stories to his kid m(a development I find most perplexing), and then Frankenstein reappears as manifest from earlier in the book, and to be honest the bit in the dark ages is completely lost on me... regardless of its origin or allegory, if the reader does not understand it, it is a problem.
It is starting to feel as if the magic in the book has no rules and while a great writer could resolve this, my experience with Carey is that this will only get worse... the loose strings and throw everything at the wall to see what sticks attitude will only magnify itself. This is what made reading his X-men run such a chore. Hopefully I am wrong. Hopefully he will tie it up neatly and intelligently.
Gross is doing his top notch work here. There is a distinction between the various realities of the world that helps us know what is real and what is story (or what was past as in last issue)... the script messes with this as well though as the distinctive look of the man reading the Tommy books to his child appears to differ from the modern setting of the book making me wonder if it is merely a different realm of now or some other thing altogether.
I'm all for mysteries and up until this issue, Carey has played the balance well between revelation and new world expanding narrative. Here he stumbles for the first time with this book. I only hope it is a stumble and that all my fears will be put to rest in the next issue.
Pull list: Afterlife with Archie, Bodies, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Coffin Hill, Dead Boy Detectives, The Fade Out, The Goon, Harley Quinn, Hinterkind, Iron Fist: The Living Weapon,The Maxx Maximized, Miracleman, Ms. Marvel, Multiversity, Rasputin, Rocket Raccoon, Sandman: Overture, Silver Surfer, The Walking Dead, Wonder Woman