We’re rounding the final bend on Rick Remender's longrunning storyline about the pitfalls of arrogance and forgetting the past, as well as a lack of working together on the very team predicated on that concept. This issue moves forward at an incredible clip and every character is exactly where they need to be, saying exactly what it is that they need to say. The characters are, despite their incredible volume, all incredible standouts and come alive with their own, individual voices.
Daniel Acuña’s linework is put to its ultimate test this issue with over-the-top, bombastic visuals and characters being entirely the norm from cover-to-cover, but if you’ve been keeping up with the title, you already know whether or not he passes it. He does. Of course he does. This book is filled with absolutely stunning imagery that never looks rushed nor arbitrary. Every panel has its place and its purpose. The action jumps around a ton, but the book is always easy to follow from one incredible situation to the next, and as the monstrous twist near issue’s end rears its ugly head, it’s imbued with an even greater sense of shock and wonder. The colors, from Dean White, are perfectly muddied and and massively diverse. This is a book with a very, very complex color palette, appropriately so for the bizarre locals and powers being thrown around.
This issue is RUSHED. I don’t mean it feels like corners were cut to make a deadline, I mean that an absolutely incredible amount happens in a VERY short amount of time. We get a reversal of one of the key players and the defeat of another, both off-panel all while a mad-dash of a plan is put into place that requires a lot of moving pieces to be in exactly the right place at the right time. I have this complaint somewhat frequently, but this more than any in recent memory feels like it could have, and SHOULD have been two issues. Everything feels procedural and like the central characters are just going through the motions at a time when it should be at its most tense and high-stakes.
While the issue may get to its end too quickly, what an absolutely jaw-dropping end it is. Remender managed to answer one cliffhanger with an even grander, more chest-tightening one. I’m back to having absolutely no idea what’s coming next and, while I would’ve liked to have gotten there just bit more slowly, I am fully onboard with whatever Remender has planned forwhat will likely be an incredible, stunning conclusion. Acuña does his heaviest lifting yet, along with White, holds the issue up high and proud with some of the most dramatic, kinetic visuals of the week.