Story: George Mann
Art: Joe Eisma
Colors: Michael Garland
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
What They Say:
As Joss fights to save Kreek, dangerous fauna begins to circle the fragment of Oert. Meanwhile, Gemini returns triumphant to the Sphere, but all is not well between their two halves. Artemis makes a new friend in the direst of circumstances, and Aquarius’s investigation sheds new light on the unsolved deicide.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Engineward put our cast in a bad place the last time around and they’re dealing with the fallout of it as best as they can at this point. George Mann makes sure to give Joss plenty of time to wallow in what’s happened and her feeling that things are done at this point as it’s a natural reaction to have, and a welcome change from the unstoppable leader type that we usually get. With that in mind, Joe Eisma brings that to life well and the challenges they face while also getting to deal with the ruling side in how they’re operating as the growing belief of a conspiracy is taking some serious root here.
With Joss and her crew, we see them struggling to survive after what Gemini did to them and in particular the death of Kreek. Joss’s wallowing is earned and natural with all that she’s lost and knowing there’s no real way to turn it around. The others try to turn course for her but she wants none of it, especially as dangerous creatures slowly descend on them and options seem to run out even more. What helps to change the tide is the arrival of Glok-Aitch, someone that she never expected would have followed them nor tried to really help them after all that has happened. Glok, on the other hand, seems to be very invested in their survival because his time is done and this is one way for him to live beyond that. I really like what he does to help teach most of them something new and give them hope, but especially in how he potentially helps Kreek to become something that will last beyond all of this.
With a few other things going on, I like the time spent among the water signs here as Aquarius is now drawing Pisces into things more formally. With Cancer in the group as well, Aquarius is showing that the people in the town couldn’t have accomplished the murder and that there’s reason to distrust the others until they figure it out. That’s putting more cracks in the solidarity of the ranks, though that was always a given to happen at some point. That sets all of this in motion and we get to see more of it slide into place when Gemini returns with the head and the seed. While half of Gemini is off to revel with bring all of this back, the other is sidled right up with Pisces for a good time and is starting to enjoy the emptiness that comes from not being near the other half, which helps to potentially firm up sides here.
Engineward continues to move along as it has from the start with a slightly askew sense of pacing and storytelling that fits the world and its characters. Mann knows what he’s doing here and since this isn’t a six issues and done series, it’s got the space to breathe and tell the tale which definitely helps it immensely than it might have at another publisher. Joe Eisma continues to delight in how he brings these characters to life with a really good range of diversity to their looks and movements that I’m always excited to see a new installment come in and wonder what strange new thing we’ll discover next in it as the journey to save the world continues.