[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Simon Gane
Inker: Jordie Bellaire
Akira’s backstory is revealed. It is a bloody mess. 86 members of the 140 still live and breathe. Larry Ferrell, the creepy guy who started all this madness, still lives and breathes even though the world thinks he is dead as members of the 140 are killing each other to get even more of his billions. Thus begins year two of Unfollow.
We finally know a bit more about Akira. It is about time we know considering what happened at the end of the last issue. He is a total crazy mess, yet like most crazy messes, there are borders around the mess. Most crazy people think they are sane. In Akira’s case, that is totally true. Here is a guy who joined a samurai army full of artists. Really? Who does that? Oh, right, I know. Crazy people who think they have a plan. OK, in this case, he does have a plan. It is sick, it is twisted and it is brilliant. Williams has a knack for giving the insane a voice. It is so easy just to write off a character or a person as whacked out and leave it at that. Williams refuses to let us do that here. The first twelve issues of this marathon have taken us through the minds of people who are willing to do the unthinkable and Williams makes us understand that those actions. Why is that a positive thing? Well, who wants two-dimensional characters? Not me.
Mike Dowling takes a break from the action for guest artist Simon Gane. Gane is somewhat of an expert on drawing things we would normally not see in the USA. Check out his blog here for more. He is the perfect fit for this book. Since we need to see a young Akira doing some early revolutionary stuff, Gane’s art tells this story because we need to see a different Akira. We need to have a whole new perspective on him. I am assuming Dowling is coming back as he is co-creator of this work and these are his people.
Akira is actually dead (maybe) and this issue, while amazing, is not moving the story forward. I love it, but I can see where it would be off putting. The same can be said for Gane’s work. For a year, Mike Dowling has been the guy on this book and the characters look the way he wants them to look. This could be a turn off for some readers. Not me, but I see how that could be seen as a detriment.
Year two of this book is still a mystery. Year one was so good and Williams is a character and dialogue genius so I trust his story telling as well. I am ready for year two and you should be too.