Story: Matt Kindt
Art: David Rubin
What They Say:
Matt Kindt! David Rubín! From New York Times–bestselling Mind MGMT creator Matt Kindt and Black Hammer’s David Rubín comes the third installment of this fantasy adventure thats Sherlock Holmes meets Dr. Seuss. The Faerie King’s daughter is missing, and only portal jumper Boone Dias can track her down. Jumping from one magical crime scene to another, he uncovers a bizarre plot featuring assassin eggs, weird pirates, ice deserts, and more noir absurdities. Pinups by Gabriel Walta, Kevin Nowlan, Paul Azaceta, and more!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
It’s been just about a year since the second Ether miniseries ended on a cliffhanger and I’ll admit that I don’t remember too much of it. What draws me to Ether are definitely the talents involved and just the sheer creativity that opens so many avenues to explore if it had the time and patience to do so. Such is what happens with any Matt Kindt story, to be sure, and this issue does that in a big way. But even if the story doesn’t get you that much there’s the utterly beautiful David Rubin artwork, a style and design that feels so appropriate to this series that it captivates me with each panel, wanting to explore every line and wishing there were annotations included with it as to the choices made in doing so. Just the sequence with the variety of the gods could fill books.
After the events of the prior series, Boone Dias has now exiled himself to Mount Takachito out of some kind of penance. His appearance is quite different as well as he’s done little here, become very lanky, and shaved his head but left the scraggly beard. When the Faerie King comes to him for help, he’s pretty insightful as to what it is that Boone is doing here. But the reality of the Ether is that he is needed as Ubel as come back and is distorting the world with the powers that he has now. Everything is becoming corrupted and his time in the Library of Knowledge has now distorted the meaning of things and worlds with their permanence in the world. It’s a fascinating piece to see what Ubel is doing but it’s the fact that Violet Bell has been taken, presumably by Ubel, that finally gets Boone off his feet, making some much-needed apologies elsewhere, and getting on the job of finding Bell.
We get a bit of this with the first “crime scene” at the palace where everything was left as it was and that sets the tone well for what will come with the creatures employed to get her and to stop others. Boone’s always been an interesting character to me in expressiveness and his approach to problem-solving and that’s no exception here. But what got me with this issue were the opening pages where the Faerie King talks about Mount Takachito and the statues to the Seven Lucky Gods in the background. Going through their stories, some with a few panels, others with a single panel, opens up so many neat ideas and stories to explore that I wish we could get a miniseries for each to explore their mythologies and truths. They’re just that fascinating, which again is the frustration and excitement of reading a Kindt book and getting it illustrated so beautifully from Rubin.
Ether tickles a particular fancy with me even though the story that we get is fairly straightforward. The Disappearance of Violet Bell is a mystery chaser and if you’ve read/seen a few of those you know the basic structure. The opening sets the stage predictably but what makes it work is the combination of the details, setting, the nuance of the world, and the visual design. Kindt and Rubin are well-paired in this project and I can see both of them inspiring each other to new creative levels to bring this place to life while infusing it with the emotional elements it needs to gain a few more notches. Boone Dias is still my favorite character in the run and this issue looks to give us something more to grapple with when it comes to him while expanding the world at the same time. I’m excited for what’s to come.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: September 25th, 2019