[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Mike Dowling
Inker: Quinton Winter
We are finally back in real time. It has been a year since the onslaught and destruction of Akira’s camp. There are only 40 members of the 140 remaining. Dave, Deacon and Courtney OMG are together and they have tracked down Rubinstein. They aim to put him out of his misery. Ravan is almost finished with her documentary about the 140. Akira has, through the use of CGI magic and mass human stupidity, created a mega-church where people believe he is speaking to them from beyond the grave. In a way, he is, but in reality…well…no one in comics is every truly dead. For example, the mastermind/ villain of this whole book: not dead. So, you know.
It is nice to have the band back together both on the page and behind the scenes. While the guest artists were good, I missed Dowling. This is his book as much as it is Williams and his ownership is on full display. Rubinstein and his mask are demented and twisted and freaky and in the hands of Mike Dowling, they come to life. Look, I am not much for masks in general. Yes, I know, I read comic books, what the hell is wrong with me, but those masks are not the same. I am talking full face, masks that have expressions and were designed to creep people out masks. Rubinstein’s mask is all of that and a bag of nightmares. Because it is pretty clear he has been wearing it for a long, long time, the mask is worn and cracked and even more insane looking.
The story is coming together. While there are 40 remaining members of the 140, the few that matter are all represented here. Rob Williams is a master of characterization and dialogue and, as always, that screams off the page here begging to be noticed. We see crazed Akira worshipers refusing to believe facts. These people are hardly in the story, but everything about them is real and perfectly captured. We see Dave’s sister, still not fully recovered from the gunshot wound he gave her. Sad, miserable and alone. It is painful to see because it is so honest. Rubinstein’s internal and external monologues are bone chilling. This book is hard to put down and frustrating when it ends.
It is sure nice to have the band back together, but it has been a year in Unfollow time and several months in our lives since we last saw our main characters in the “now.” It seems that by skipping ahead a year, Williams is asking the readers to buckle up for more flashbacks. I am all for speculation. I do not need everything spelled out for me, but there is a lot that happened to get us to this point in the story and based on past examples, flashbacks seem imminent. I am not complaining loudly, but I am just bringing it up.
40 remain and the last page is so amazing that I did not even bring it up. There are some spoilers that are not worth spoiling. While this issue asks more questions than it answers, this book is spectacular. Go get caught up. Go. Read. Let your mind be blown.