[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Bryan Hill
Artists: N. Steven Harris, Dexter Vines, Ross Campbell
The voice in Michael Cray’s head is getting louder and louder. Just at the time where John Constantine has him hostage and Diana Prince looks ready to bring about Armageddon. This issue Cray must decide who’s voice will guide him into the future; the one in his head, Constantine or his own.
It’s amazing that eight issues in, the art is one of the first things to be praised. Ross Campbell’s colours bring so much life into this story. While Steven Harris’s artwork hasn’t always been consistent, Campbell’s colours look like they could fix anything. Everything has depth to it now and characters really pop from the pages. Plot wise this wasn’t an action filled issue so there wasn’t much for Campbell to play with other than people talking so it’ll be especially exciting to see what more he can bring next month.
Plot wise, like last month, the story of Michael Cray is really expanding. No longer is it a formulaic Cray versus X story. There’s a lot of depth added to Cray’s character this issue with more sure to follow next month. Additionally this universe’s John Constantine gets some development too. it’s interesting how similar the character is to the main Constantine. It makes one wonder what other similarities there are between worlds.
On top of this towards the end of the issue there’s a big shift in the series. Overall there is a feeling that this issue is here to build the story and signal a turn in the main plot. While there isn’t the level of action readers are accustomed to, there’s plenty here to interest them. It’s a must read issue in regards to the series that way. Without delving too much into spoilers, like last month, this issue really makes clear this isn’t a simple fight comic any more. The story is much deeper than that.
As always, N. Steven Harris’s faces are inconsistent at best. One panel things are fine and the next Michael Cray’s nose is on the other side of his face. It’s a little baffling that this is still happening but Ross Campbell’s colours certainly help, making his issues stand out.
Another minor negative of the issue is how slow it’s paced, especially in comparison to the rest of the series. While it’s still an engaging read, a majority of the story is devoted to Cray and Constantine talking to one another. This definitely subverts the expectations of the two to fight. Likewise for scenes without Cray. It’s mainly just characters talking to one another, building hype for future issues.
Probably the slowest issue of the series but still enjoyable. The issue offers plenty of character development and is a must read for fans of the series. Bryan Hill demonstrates that he is capable of fun action and tense dialogue in the same series, and as this issue shows, the same issue.