Story: Ben Fisher
Art: Adam Markiewicz
Colors: Adam Guzowski
Letterer: Adam Markiewicz
What They Say:
Paul and Maria find themselves uneasy allies on the run in a world where any physical contact results in agonizing death. But the bloody effects of the “Divide” may be the least of their concerns when they stumble into the crosshairs of a deranged serial killer and a group of “baredevils” who thrive on the danger of exposed skin.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of this six issue series from Fisher and Markiewicz certainly delighted me a lot. The concept is certainly a bit different than usual and watching the exploration of how the remnants of humanity are attempting to survive made for an interesting exploration, one that will get touched upon in different ways at different times. With the second issue, we’re going more toward some of the stranger ways people are surviving here and that will have its moments as well. But it’s also the kind of thing that almost feels like a little too much too soon when there were other ideas to explore about how different groups would find a way to function. But if you want to go the whole Mad Max type world with some Really Bad Dudes making it clear that this is their world to own, this issue will reinforce that.
With the situation having gone down as bad as it did with Maria’s brother Carlos, Paul’s certainly struggling with the new voice in his head because of it. It plays out in a neat way across the episode as he gets a lot of Colombian in his head and is able to understand it. But it’s the lettering visual that’s really fun as it provides both languages across it with the Colombian shaded lighter in the background. Paul and Maria certainly aren’t going to be a in a good place when you consider what happened but they do manage to mostly make it work as they get on the road, not without some additional fallout. The dynamic between the two is certainly a bit adversarial on her part but considering what she just lost it makes sense. She doesn’t exactly make herself all that likable here but that’s not her goal; she’s trying to survive and is struggling with the fact that the last part of her brother is now in Paul.
With her goal of getting to Seattle being the main thrust, and Paul invested in it because of Carlos, the road trip angle has all the usual potentials and pitfalls about it. I like the first encounter we get with the creepy Collector that will certainly have a bigger role later on as we see the various ways people cope and survive. The more creepy one is the group that overwhelms Paul and Maria, with him sacrificing himself so she can escape, as we get an arena style group that wear essentially minimal bondage material in order to make it more dangerous. Paul’s dragged into that where winning is losing in the long run because of all the voices you’ll get in your head. Markiewicz handles this segment as well as the rest but it’s just the kind of weird post-apocalypse thing you get from time to time that you expect even if it’s kind of off-putting. You kind of know where it’s going to go but you’re curious if the group will grow from this.
The Great Divide is less focused on the strangeness of this brave new world this time around and is more focused on plain old survival. I like what Fisher is doing overall but I’ll admit to wanting a bit more of things on a personal level and just the smaller kind of threats that exist, such as the Collector as opposed to this arena type group. Markiewicz continues to deliver some solid work here that keeps it fun and engaging to read with the flow of the panels with the action and just some of the reaction shots that we get. While the book doesn’t grab me quite as much as it did the first time around I’m definitely still keen to see how it unfolds and what the remaining four issues bring to the table.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: October 5th, 2016