Deep down, we have no control. It’s a pessimistic outlook, but the only one that rings true during Resonant #4. Everyone has found ways to cope with their lack of control — some have conviction, others have faith, others clear their minds, and still others embrace the chaos. Ultimately, only the fittest and strongest survive, and since they are split three ways, Paxton and his family are going to have to prove just how strong they are. Their world has just gotten a lot bigger and a lot more crowded, which also means a lot more dangerous. So, as we open issue #4, it’s important to recognize the power Paxton, Bec, Ty, and Stef had when they were together, and how the situation may change now that they’re apart.
How do you stay calm? How do you keep going in the most dire situations? How are you able to deal with pain, loss, or suffering? If you don’t know the answers to those questions, the world of Resonant is likely not for you. Whatever mechanism or strategy you have needs to be executed with an extreme amount of conviction. Some use religion or faith. That’s what Ty has just stumbled into when Noah brings him to The Congregation. It’s probably the most cohesive and stable living conditions we’ve seen so far, and people are able to live as a community. There’s obviously going to be some sort of catch, because there always is, but people relying on their faith appears to be keeping them safe. There’s also the power of serenity and a clear mind. That’s the strategy for Paxton. If one continuously and conscientiously cleanses their mind, there’s nothing to worry about and ideally, one would be still be able to cleanse their mind under the toughest of conditions. Honcho embraces the chaos. He relishes the madness that occurs on his island and feeds off of it. He seemingly and inexplicably remains calm during the wave, but the explanation for that is right in front of our faces. Honcho doesn’t struggle to contain his darkest impulses because he always acts on them. On his island, Honcho can do whatever he wants to whoever he wants. He never has to hide his penchant for violence or savage depravity. Honcho embraces the madness and chaos and acts as though there is always a wave. Then once one hits, it’s as though nothing changed. But isn’t there a coping mechanism that’s missing? What about love? Love should be what overpowers deep, dark impulses. Perhaps that’s where this is going.
As fun as speculation can be, let’s get back to the issue. David Andrey, Alejandro Aragon, Jason Wordie, and Deron Bennett use the idea of conviction to various values that can be used to drive humanity to dissect the human psyche. How easy is it for us to regress? Apparently very. What happens when we do? Apparently utter destruction. That’s the horrifying part. The amount of people who can survive when an extreme force tests the strength of their mind is abysmally low. And what does that say about us and who we are now? What does it say that our deepest, darkest impulses can cause so much destruction? Resonant brings all of these questions to the forefront while testing the limits of the family bond.
Visually, Aragon and Wordie are able to unleash their full abilities in this issue. Aragon must use at least a dozen different textures, and the way he uses them to convey different emotional states on different panels, e.g. hyper-violence, hope, divinity, and suspense is inspired. Wordie’s colors are equally so, particularly the way they use blue and red during moments of serenity and violence respectively. They’re what make this dichotomy come to life and force you to ask yourself about how you’d react in this situation.
The one weakness of Resonant #4 is that it seems as though Bec and Stef just need something to do, which is why the bear is introduced. This is also the final scene of the book and it kinds of falls off a bit in that way. Resonant #4 continues to be a fascinating deep dive into the human psyche by the likes of a wonderful creative team consisting of David Andry, Alejandro Aragon, Jason Wordie, and Deron Bennett. Get ready for a daring escape, a dangerous bear attack, and the costs of being a “chosen one” in this new society. We haven’t made it out in one piece yet.
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