I recently opined how I caught up on this series on the AIPT Comics Podcast thanks in part to the creators, but also how it is the top-rated critic and fan comic most weeks it’s out. This is a series that has struck a nerve with fans and critics alike and it’s likely due to the rich visual storytelling, creepy atmosphere, and curiously huge sci-fi underbelly. It’s a series that feels like it is getting closer to a finale even when we still need to know so much more. In the 18th issue out today more is revealed and the bigger picture is becoming clearer in this time and interdimensional travel story.
This issue is very good at recapping very clearly what is going on while laying the groundwork for a new kind of threat. Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino set two characters on a new course and establish very clearly why they would ever agree to such a plan. The science fiction ideas at work here are fascinating and while we’ve been guessing at them for a while now Lemire and Sorrentino lay out their cards for all to see. That’s exciting since that seems to suggest they’re ready to unveil a new layer of mystery and twists going forward.
The drama between family members continues to get more complex and interesting. The father gets a bit of time to bond with his long lost son, for instance, and it’s nice to see how the father murdering someone plays out. It’s in the familial ties that the story finds its heart and keeps you invested.
The only gripe I have with this series is probably a positive for some and that’s in how there doesn’t seem to be a finish line. Like a David Lynch film, it takes turns here and there but never lays the groundwork for where it might be going or even what the enemy is, which gives it a mysterious feel but one that can feel frustrating. Like Lost, the stakes are hard to care much about since there is no build-up to something. Not yet anyway.
Sorrentino continues to do incredible work. I love the detail in faces that are unique form each other and unique from anything you’ve seen in a book before. Perspective is the name of the game in this series and Sorrentino keeps your focus right where it belongs. A mid-shot of Danny standing silent with his father and a nearly identical panel below that with his father turning his head helps create a sense of tension and awkwardness at the moment. There are a few wide-sweeping double-page layouts that do well to capture the scope in moments too. I don’t know how Sorrentino does it, but the amount of effort put into these pages is astounding. In one double-page splash there must be 80 panels on the page. Also, if you’ve found the smiling man creepy in this series get ready for some deliciously scary visages of the monster in this book.
Once again, Lemire and Sorrentino wow readers with big ideas, creepy vibes, and an atmosphere that is unmistakably unique. Gideon Falls is a story about family, about secret cults, and a tale that’s hard to shake out of your mind when you put it down.