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 Great Divide has been a fairly fun book with an interesting concept that almost practically demands a Cinemax series as they’re the only place that would probably do it justice. And I mean that fairly seriously as I like the ideas behind the book and the kind of odd execution and we know that with shows like Banshee and the like that Cinemax would go all in with presenting the sex and violence right with a good showrunner that would delve into the religious and psychological impacts as well. And I’d just love to see promos describing Baredevils and some of the weird raunchy humor that would be expanded upon in that format. Until then, however, the comic is delivering itself pretty well with what Fisher and Markiewicz are doing and it’s leaving me enjoying it and looking forward to more.
The whole thing with Pug and his group showing the kind of bravado and daredevilish aspects of their survival is disturbing as hell but it’s balanced with Paul and Eli working their gallows humor in an attempt to survive. Pug certainly is set up as a bigger villain to come, though I’m glad he’s not forced into the book in full here but rather a looming problem that could come up down the line, if there is one. For the guys, their skins are saved (again) by Maria as she extracts them, something that she certainly doesn’t feel bad about as she sees more of how badly people are being handled in Pug’s grasp, especially with those that gain a lot of riders and end up being unable to handle it. The idea of force of will to handle the riders is an interesting one and it leaves you really wanting to know more about Pug’s background and psychological makeup that allows him to do it so spectacularly.
Bringing Eli into the mix works well since he’s Air Force and provides some additional muscle and clarity to things that Paul and Maria don’t, considering their own relationship. It’s not like we get a seamless and gung-ho kind of group now, but it’s one that’s a bit less tense with a third person involved. Seeing them making their way toward Seattle works well as it establishes more about Eli and the dynamic in general but we also get a fourth introduced with Vanessa, a curious scientific type with a solar powered RV that has been tracking and investigating what’s been going on with the herd elements. It’s a lot of exposition that fills in some of the blanks while also upping the interest because you want to know the bigger story going on here now that we know the basics of the characters pretty well.
Markiewicz keeps things moving well with this book in giving us something rough and raw in a solidly striking way with the color palette used. While some of the skin scenes make me wonder how there aren’t more accidents, the book as a whole continues to play well with what it’s trying to do. This issue has a lot going on with the characters and dialogue so it’s pretty packed but it adds a whole lot to the bigger picture. I’m curious as to what’s to come and the meaning behind it all and I hope that it has a life beyond the sixth and final issue because I can imagine this going on for quite some time depending on how this is all wrapped up. The big win for this issue is bringing Eli into the mix as he definitely works well and leaves me wanting more of this overall dynamic. Good stuff and a surprising diamond in the making in the rough.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: November 23rd, 2016