Story: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen
Letterer: Steve Wands
What They Say:
“THE END OF THE UNIVERSE,” Part Two – Is this really the end? Tim-21 is delivered to the enemy and betrayed by one of his closest allies. But nothing can prepare the universe for what comes next as King S’Lok returns and does the unthinkable. Meanwhile, Queen Between and Andy face a betrayal of their own, with Bandit hanging in the balance.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Like any good novel with a range of characters involved, one of the best moments is when things come together after a good period of separation. We’ve had some of those orbits cross over the course of it and now Jeff Lemire is bringing everyone together, slowly but surely. And that’s damn exciting. It’s also just a delight to see how Dusting Nguyen is bringing those moments together for them to really hit the right emotional note as we get probably one of the biggest reunions of the series here. There’s such a great distinctiveness to the characters that he brings to events here and just the utter delight of Tim-21’s puppy dog eyes alone makes it worth being wholly invested in.
The arrival of the UGC Harvester is not exactly a welcome event but it’s setting a lot of things into motion. It’s a potential game-changer depending on what it can do but that requires one more piece for it to be fully functional and that piece is Tim-21. Until then it’s a powered unit but not something that can really engage like the true Harvesters. What becomes amusing is that Psius figures this out quickly, thankfully since it makes a lot of sense wit quick thought, and he engages in the idea of protecting the Harvester because they can stop Tim-21 from getting there and then taking it over for themselves. It’d certainly make the Hardwire even more powerful so they can accomplish more. So it’s weirdly amusing to see the Hardwire take this approach because the UGC doesn’t exactly expect it, especially since they’re frantically trying to fully regain Tim-21.
The big events dominate in a way but it’s the smaller things I adore. Watching as S’lok lords things over Driller and Merzed, especially in making it clear that he knows all that Driller has done, is delightful – particularly in how they manage their own escape. Telsa’s struggles are indeed real as she has to obey orders, and her father, but she knows deep down it’s not right. But the real moments that won me over is when everyone starts to converge on the deck of the Harvester and we get the arrival of Andy and Bandit and they get to reconnect with Tim-21. Dustin Nguyen delivers a fantastically minimal but rich two-page spread layout that brings all that emotion and meaning there out in the perfect way. You feel that embrace and what it means to both of them after all that they’ve been through, even knowing the larger events that are playing out right outside the machine.
The halfway mark of this arc brings a lot of things together and each piece of it is exciting to watch unfold because, in some cases, it’s been far too long. The large scale conflict that’s playing out here and all those involved is decidedly exciting to watch because there’s a lot of unpredictability going on and it balances the strong character arcs as their orbits cross more and more and the choices are being made about who they truly are. Lemire and Nguyen have had a strong run from the first issue and that hasn’t changed at all for me, making this a really great installment as part of the whole.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: May 30th, 2018