Gideon Falls has been incredibly successful since its first issue, with massive acclaim from critics and fans alike. Lemire and Sorrentino work in perfect harmony to put out a book with twists and turns that surprise readers every issue. This issue is no exception, filling out the backstory for a key character and connecting it all the way back to the first issue of the series.
The issue begins with Father Jeremiah Burke waking up in yet another world he does not recognize, only from the very first page it is even more disorienting than the last few. Sorrentino’s layouts are freeform and confusing, going in meandering directions with no real sense of direction, much like Burke’s own state of mind. As this world of his own followers is explained to him, Burke gets a look at his own future — a world that he had a major part in guiding.
As Burke’s journey through this world continues, the paneling gets more and more rigid as he approaches a mysterious building with a guide. His guide reveals that within this building is a Pentoculus, a device that seemingly allows people to travel between different versions of Gideon Falls. As the book approaches the Pentoculus, the layouts of the pages become more and more structured, culminating in yet another absolutely incredible double page splash from Sorrentino.
The end of the book is back in Burke’s original universe, as the pages become more structured than before, as Burke discovers that nearly 50 years have passed since he first journeyed into the Black Barn. This is immediately followed by jump forward in time to the present day, where the pages become strict 4×5 20-panel grids, and Bishop Burke gathers his followers to find Father Fred. This ending also reveals that Bishop Burke is the same Bishop who Father Fred was speaking to in the first issue, which changes the entire dynamic of the Church dramatically.
As always, Gideon Falls is a masterclass in visual storytelling. The plot has ramped up rapidly since the first arc, and Lemire is doing an excellent job giving answers that only serve to create further mysteries. Sorrentino is putting out the best work of his career, and improves with every issue. The layouts and artwork throughout are exquisite, and serve to enhance the story in an incredible way. Each scene’s tone is defined by how Sorrentino lays out the page, and the entire issue is a structural masterpiece.