Jeff Lemire’s epic sci-fi romance nears it’s conclusion, and not only was this issue very well-written and drawn, but it mercifully didn’t need turning upside-down as much as the last one! Seriously, #6 was taking the mickey at times, but here, you only have to do it once or twice, which makes it much more effective.
The issue opens with William having a flashback to fighting in WW1, only of course, due to time being re-written, he shouldn’t be remembering that, he’s in the year 3797. In his memories, he sees a vision of the young Nika, speaking Atabithian, which causes him to wake up. Back in the future, Essie tells him that his brother is heading his way. Nika is also at the ruins, where she is approached by an Atabithian, it gives her a Trillium flower, so she is able to understand some of what it’s saying (this issue includes a full key for the language, so now we can all go translate ourselves if we’re that nerdy). The alien takes her to a whole, which is revealed to be the real portal, and made up of all sorts of weird, Kirby-style tech.
Before Nika can investigate however, Pohl shows up, and it’s revealed that her helping Nika get back to the Andes was a ruse so that the British Army could claim the territory. Pohl shoots the Atabithian, and Nika jumps down the hole, into the weird hinterland between the time-zones. She wanders the now desolate temple, and she also sees the ghostly version of herself, who points her in the right direction, which is of course, back to the future, and into the arms of William.
Sadly, they are only reunited for a page before Clayton receives a message that the ship coming to get them off the planet is now in control of ‘The Caul’. I must admit that I’d sort of forgotten about The Caul in recent issues, but it looks like they were very important all along, and probably have something to do with the Atabithians, and the Trillium plant and, well, everything.
This mini-series has been absolutely mental, and I can’t wait to see how Lemire will end it and how it all ties in together. Lemire’s art was of course on a par with his writing here. I loved the page where Nika jumped down the hole, and the way it changed angles. Even if the story here was no good, the art has been amazing and experimental enough to make it well worth reading.