Review: HIGH LEVEL #6
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Story: Rob Sheridan
Line Art: Barnaby Bagenda and Omar Francia
Color Art: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Lettering: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Reviewed By: Ari Bard
In High Level #6, Bagenda finishes taking us through his original world filled with unique characters and futuristic elements. In this final installment, we learn about the fate of Minnow and Thirteen after discovering Akan was a traitor. What will happen in the stunning conclusion to High Level, or is this only the beginning?
High Level #6 is the final issue and the stakes couldn’t be higher. The entire finale is carried out with a palpable and heightened level of tension. We see an intriguing reveal of the true villain , and what ends of happening is extremely shocking. It is hard to tell what the intentions were behind some of these choices, but they are very interesting. The metaphor presented for all to see, and while it’s been done before, it has a few unique twists that shows Sheridan’s eye for commentary. The idea people always think there is something better only to have that shattered before their very eyes is a poignant one. Bagenda, Francia, Fajardo Jr., and Piekos are fantastic. They give a very full story life and emotion. There’s excellent paneling, positioning, and set design that will really make readers feel a sense of awe at the elements that lay before them. Fajardo Jr.’s colors are also excellent with neon cerulean blues lighting up most of the issue. Additionally, Piekos does a great job with his balloon positioning, SFX, and caption colors to vary the rhythm of the issue. The visual elements really came together on this one.
High Level #6 is one confusing conclusion. After pushing the finale back six weeks, it feels like Sheridan tried to cram everything under the sun into this issue. There are settings and characters we’ve never heard of before, plot elements introduced out of nowhere, and way too many automated voices introduced in the final issue. WHo are these new, large enemies? When did Elysium 2.0 turn into Tower of God 2.0? There’s so many questions that this convoluted ending raised, and with no sign of a sequel or a chapter 2, the ending just feels so pointless. That could be the intention, but it doesn’t seem executed well.
High Level #6 is a somewhat muddled and fascinating ending to a story with a lot of promise. Hopefully we get another chapter to resolve the hanging threads.