Max Bemis and Eryk Donovan’s Heavy returns to bring the pain to our unlikely band of protagonists. With an alternate universe version of his dead wife in the mix, how will Bill be able to continue on with his duties of ridding the multiverse of aberrations?
One of the potential problems that can arise when telling a story that theoretically spans centuries is that there may be a lot of character development that the audience may not get to see. On the one hand, this offers the creative team the unique opportunity to show how characters can evolve over an until amount of time. The past few issues have explored how fundamentally a person can change if given all the time in all the universes ever to do so. Slim has come to see how badly he screwed things up with Bill, and Bill has developed a begrudging respect for the guy who essentially ruined his life.
However, the new status quo in this new issue — the fact that Bill has to work with a version of Sharon that he doesn’t know — feels like it’s given too little time for exploration. Without spoiling anything, this first issue does feel a bit like it skips over the juicy conflict that could have occurred between Bill and Sharon, and instead sets the stage for an entirely different dust-up between our main cast members. Even so, the quieter moments of this issue are particularly strong. When the bullets aren’t flying and our characters are able to have a moment to talk to one another, Bemis’s script really shines.
This issue does an excellent job of exploring the latest member of the Heavy team. Sharon makes an immediate impression on the reader, and not just because of the extraordinarily NSFW intro to the issue. She’s headstrong and fearless. She’s not just badass, she’s “charging into battle on the back of a Dire Wolf and toting a flamethrower” levels of cool. This is one of many awesome images from Eryk Donovan, who once again relishes in the possibilities afforded to him by an unlimited multiverse of violent shenanigans.
She also, much like Bill, has a moral code that extends beyond whatever she has been promised by God and Kyle. Her job isn’t just to enforce the rules of the Big Wait, but to also destroy evil where she sees it — and that brings us to the most fascinating part of the issue.
Sharon makes a judgement call in one universe that essentially brings the whole world crashing down on them. This leads to a great sequence in which a massive army is bearing down on Bill and the gang, and Donovan throws so much insane detail into every corner of this brief skirmish. Even though we don’t get to see the ultimate outcome, there’s an incredible amount of imagination on display here from the creative team.
This universe illustrates perhaps one of the key tenets of Heavy, in that it shows the kind of hurt that people will inflict on one another, and how some will do their best to convince themselves that they’re in the right. This concept carries into other sections of the story, most notably in the final pages. While the addition of Sharon is a breath of fresh sarcastic air, something tells me that Bill and Slim are nowhere near done with their suffering.
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