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'Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees' #6 advance review
IDW

Comic Books

‘Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees’ #6 advance review

Two killers are on the loose in ‘Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees’ #6 and one must reign supreme.

The psychological horror Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees comes to its conclusion this week as two serial killers vie to be the last killer standing. It’s Sam – a seasoned pro at killing – versus Nigel – a young buck who wants to get in on the fun. This story could go in several directions since Sam is on the run and caught red-handed. The cold and calculated Sam is a hard character to root for, but there’s no denying how this narrative plays out, which is as exhilarating as anything you’ll read this week.

Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees #6 opens with photographs Nigel took of his murders. They’re close-ups of gruesome things he’s done, like split an arm in half or slit a throat. He’s a sick puppy and seems to commit violence to get a rise out of the victim. It’s an interesting distinction since Sam seemed to murder out of necessity, like eating or breathing air, rather than enacting fear. Soon, we see the photographs going up in smoke as Nigel burns them, and the evidence will be slim if Sam wants to absolve themselves.

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This issue has two main points. The first is that Nigel is confident in how he’s won and will kill again. The second involves Sam and her master’s plan to return the town to her side. At the end of the issue, Sam is a seasoned pro, and Nigel isn’t, and Patrick Horvath makes that distinction quite clear.

Something else made quite clear via the art is how cold Sam is, further cementing their pro status as a killer. Nigel, on the other hand, is immature and cocky. The character acting is great, especially in regards to a victim who knows they’re likely to die soon.

Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees #6 advance review

Unnerving moments throughout.
Credit: IDW

The ending does seem to come almost too easily, though. It may be due to comics having limited space to wrap things up, but after all the buildup of the last two issues, it seems as though Sam shouldn’t have ever worried, given how easily her plan comes together. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but things play out in a way that makes the ending lack bite.

Visually, using black in the gutters is interesting for defining a key sequence of events. Most of the issues involve conventional white gutters, but when things turn to a darker place, the gutters go black. There’s also a lot more cuteness to the animals in this issue, maybe because there are so many children. It’s more obvious than ever that Sam being a bear adds a certain predator quality to her look, while other cute animals like bunnies and cats look more peaceful. The rendering of these animals propels the narrative beyond a conventional serial killer story, and this issue cements that fact.

Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou continue to add layers to the narrative. The normal lettering has a pleasing airiness, while emphasis can range from a word balloon exploding with super-large letters to a wavering word balloon conveying a sense of dread.

Roman playwright Terentius once said, “I am a human being, and thus nothing human is alien to me.” This series proves anthropomorphizing its characters isn’t enough to not see connections to these characters. That’s largely due to strong character acting and a deep understanding of how a killer can be a person who is also unfeeling and capable of terrible things. It’s a series that leaves you thinking about what it means to be a predator in a day and age when our humanity is more base and raw than ever.

'Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees' #6 advance review
‘Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees’ #6 advance review
Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees #6
Roman playwright Terentius once said, "I am a human being, and thus nothing human is alien to me." This series proves anthropomorphizing its characters isn't enough to not see connections to these characters. That's largely due to strong character acting and a deep understanding of how a killer can be a person who is also unfeeling and capable of terrible things. It's a series that leaves you thinking about what it means to be a predator in a day and age when our humanity is more base and raw than ever. 
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Draws you in as the "villain" seems to think he's won the day
The anthropomorphising is on full dispaly via more children in this issue
The conclusion does feel a little too easy
8.5
Great
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