In the third installment of Lost Soldiers, we’re now hitting a high-octane level of violence that has been pre-meditated within this series. Writer Ales Kot’s narrator of Death is simply a vessel for this uncomfortable churning that has been a constant buildup in this book. It almost feels as though the topics Kot addresses within Lost Soldiers are simply looking back at you. With two issues of great buildup, Kot has ended up creating this unique arthouse cinematic mood; the fervent push and pull that Ales manipulates through the medium is simply staggering.
There is simply no bounded image in artist Luca Casalanguida’s pencils that cannot be made a statue. Each panel appears almost etched in his style, which properly denotes the characters that are trapped within this constant violence that never leaves them. It’s something that can be confusing, and hyper cut, but it’s focused on the impact of this violence. Bearing witness to these people get brutalized almost brings an internal self-evaluation amongst ourselves about the violence we’re all contributing within the world. It’s still offering a high-octane thrill ride, but there is a reflective, almost melancholic note that relegates the excitement for a sense of somberness.
Thanks to the assistance of Heather Marie Lawrence Moore’s colors, the subtext becomes a wondrous, visual cue. These wonderful shades of colors blending together to create an almost aurora-level mix are simply one of the finest technical achievements in conveying the story. Alongside this is Aditya Bidikar’s letters on this series. The caption boxes are these great bits of monologue that really present how far removed the narrator is from people’s emotions and physical concerns. It’s a great bit of subtlety that pronounces the higher volume that our narrator’s voice controls within this whole narrative.
In each bit of discussion, there is simply a magnificent stroke of technical mastery from the whole creative team. If that wasn’t enough, the emotional rendering that each contributor brings is simply stunning with each passing issue of a series that is becoming one of the most important cultural reflections in some time.