They’re Not Like Us has been one of the most polarizing comics over the last three months due to its immoral characters and questionable acts of violence.
Many have been angered and confused, writing this off as a book out to create controversy and not much more; thing is, maybe that’s what writer Eric Stephenson wants you to think. I check out the latest issue to see if this onion has been peeled a bit better. Is it good?
They’re Not Like Us #4 (Image Comics)
Our main protagonist Syd has been living amongst other mind power folks for two weeks now. They are special in a variety of different ways and the guy who runs the house is named The Voice. They all have code names actually and they’ve taken it upon themselves to use their powers to punish people who have done wrong. Or even those who will do wrong in the future. We’ve witnessed them kick the crap out of folks who were going to spray paint walls and it’s been a little dicey rooting for them as a result. They’re all relatively well fleshed out characters who legitimately want to do good, but at the same time they think it’s okay to take the law into their own hands. Why not, they are super powered right?
Bad dreams suck!
This issue opens with a bad dream, which might be an allusion to this title itself as there have been nightmarish acts throughout. It’s a nightmare of Bluegirl’s and she rushes to Syd’s room to find some comfort. Stephenson writes us into a situation where characters reveal themselves here and it opens up a can of worms. To say the plot thickens by issue’s end is an understatement. We learn some key details about what is going on with everyone and how they might not all be in the house willingly. It’s clear the ecosystem of the house is important to The Voice, so when he pushes for a decision that could end Syd’s life it comes as no surprise. From the very start this series hasn’t added up, but it’s clear by issue’s end that is on purpose. A veil needs to be lifted and it’s just starting to peel away here.
Is that a halo?
I can’t get over the detail artist Simon Gane delivers on the ornate backgrounds of the house. I’m not sure a comic book has had such consistently great backgrounds for a comic series. The detail can also be seen in the hair and facial expressions. Gane’s layouts tend to be rather simple and yet his work tends to feel like it’s taking chances. This is in part due to the excellent storytelling going on in each panel as panels tend to strengthen each other based on where he places the camera.
Whoa rude dude!
Is It Good?
As a whole this is a story that’s slow burn with its intentions being played close to the vest. Like a good poker game you’ll be excited by what’s happening off the table more than any hands being dealt, but it’s safe to say a royal flush is coming.
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