[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Javier Pulido
Inker: Munsta Vicente
The vast majority of this issue is a flashback to what spurred Larry Ferrell to start Headspace and ultimately, create the 140. The story focuses on a novelist turned reporter who was set to write a feature on Ferrell and his newly minted fiance. Thing go badly for everyone. There are a lot of punches in the gut. Not everyone survives. Shocked? Well, if you are, you have not been reading this book.
Good lord. Rob Williams and dialogue. Seriously, Rob, have you written a movie or a play that I can go see? Damn. You have the most insightful and thoughtful things to say. You are funny. You are serious. You make the reader stop and think. That is why you are so good. Check this out:
“I mean, one of the interesting things about social media is that it was seen as enhancing freedom but it has really become this very UGLY thing.”
In-freaking-deed. There is so much ugly in the world and Williams is showing us that ugliness. All we have to do is look around us. If we missed anything, all we have to do is look at the world that Williams has created. Sure, it is a comic, but is it? We are all so self-absorbed that we forget to take a break and think about how our actions, both online and in real life, affect those around us. Granted, in this book, things get really bad really quickly, but we have all seen, or been part of a situation that got way out of hand. Williams just shows uses hyperbole to prove a point here. It is chilling. Excellent writing, but chilling.
There is a guest art team this week. That makes sense because we have, once again, taken a break from our regular story. We are stuck on 86 and get some perspective. Javier Pulido’s clean lines and stark images are the perfect vehicle for this story. There are a lot of clean lines and empty backgrounds. That works perfectly as we learn about Ferrell’s madness. He is so cut and dried that there is no room for a lot of background business. It is as though Pulido ran this whole book through Larry Ferrell’s mind and what came out was a comic book version of the world. This is the first time that the book feels like a comic instead of a graphic novel. I think that was intentional and I think it pays off.
The problem with flashback issues is that the main story does not move forward. Sure, it was important to see that Rubinstein has been with Ferrell since the beginning, but we are losing track of the main story. I guess I was thinking we would never really know why Ferrell did this except that he was an evil bastard who wanted to prove his power. OK, he is that, but there is a reason. Betrayal is the reason and it is valid, but I guess I think it was not as important. I loved the mystique of this book and of Ferrell’s character and this taken away.
I get it. I get the flashback. It is a weak negative. This book is the Black Mirror of the comic book world. It is so good. The saddest part of the book is that there will be a day when the number reaches 1 and then, that person will have to kill Ferrell or die trying. Sure, that will be epic and I will be excited, but that means this brilliant book will be over. That will make me sad. For now, I cheer.