As written by Brandon Marth:
The Unwritten: Apocalypse #8, by Mike Carey is quite a treat for fans of the series. This issue is nothing more than an action packed story building issue as Sir Thomas takes hold of the Grail only to lose but also regain his life and its power before he can aid Leviathan. His quest nearing its end, only for the grail to choose another hero.
This series is one that requires the reader to be with the story since issue one, it isn’t a tale that one can simply jump into at any point. Much like arriving to a film fifty minutes late, this enjoyment a reader will get out of this issue requires that they start from the beginning. As a new comer to the series myself I had to go back and do my research before I gained a full appreciation for the story and I advise you do the same so that you can appreciate a great series.
This issue especially impressed me with the shifting dialogue. As the characters interact and continue to weave in out and the fabric of existence and reality their speech goes from a contemporary vernacular to an archaic medieval speak. It’s fun and keeps readers engaged. This is a huge highlight for me and I believe it will be for many fans alike as it’s not over done nor try hard. The art corresponds appropriately with changing dialogue as well, ranging from full colour images during the contemporary bits to monochromatic (with perhaps a hint of sepia in some areas) epic medieval scenes that pull the reader further into the story. This combination of shifting speech patterns and pallets makes for a unique visual experience and enhances the conveyance of the story.
While this was present in the rest of the series so far, I found it far more enjoyable in this issue. This is because the shifts were dynamic and appropriate and kept my level of interest strong. This blend of writing and art that has been going on has finally reached a level of reader control and power that carries the reader through this issue and makes them want to read it more than once.
There aren’t any strong or apparent negatives in this issue. However it one potential negative is the shift in language. While not overly difficult or even remotely demanding of a strong literary background I can see it being a bit of a turn off for some potential readers. This issue is a tad thicker in archaic dialogue but if you’ve been with the series since the beginning you most likely have gotten used to it. If you aren’t one for archaic dialogue then this is not only not the issue for you but this is most likely not a series for you either.
The Unwritten: Apocalypse #8 is an interesting progression in the series that finally is employing its shifting state of character presence, pallet, and vernacular in a powerful way. The story is getting better and this issue is so well done that it demands to be read more than once. While the way the story and the dialogue are set up may be a bit more difficult than your average comic this isn’t all that difficult that not everyone can enjoy it. Here’s to hoping that issue number nine keeps this same strong execution going.