Friday, 27 September 2013

Collateral - Dear John: Volume 1 Issue 3 Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written By Matt Nichols
Art and Cover By Lee Taylor

Drama, Psychological


A family is struggling after their father loses his job.  Superhero battles leave the city in ruins.   People are going missing.  Just what is going to happen next?


After the massively strong first two issues, I was honestly wondering how this slow burner of a story was going to keep up the extremely high quality set by those issues.

I need not have worried because this title honestly gets better and better with each issue.  One of the things about the story is that while on the surface you may not think a lot is happening yet this is definitely a series that rewards repeated viewings and giving it your undivided attention.  When you do that, you notice so many different things and so many little nods to what is going to happen next.

With this issue, we get a shocking beginning and then a feeling of dread that continues to run through the issue.  Creating a sense of dread is very much one of Matt Nichols' main strengths and he manages to do that without either being melodramatic or insulting the readers intelligence.  Instead he just lets the action and story flow at a subtle pace that envelopes the reader and gets them emotionally involved in what is happening to the characters at any given moment.  There's always a feeling that something absolutely shocking is about to explode and that when it does, it's going to absolute stay in the readers mind.

All of that would be for nothing if the art didn't match up to the quality of the writing but you have no fear of that here.  Lee Taylor's unique style is both simple and hard hitting at the same time.  When you see his panels, you are instantly drawn to them and to the world that his sharp lines are depicting.  In much the same way as the writing, Taylor is a master at putting little details in that you may not notice the first time around.  I've always loved it when comic book artists do that and Taylor is one of the best at it.  Another thing that I like about the art in this series is the fact that it stays in your mind long after you have closed the comic.  Not a lot of titles can say that but this one has that skill in spades.

In all honesty, you need to pick this title up.  While it may not be to anybody's taste because of the slow and deliberate pacing of the story itself, I think that's what sets it apart from anything else out there.  The story is slowly but surely growing but at a rate that makes the reader feel like they are involved in the characters lives.  Also tell intelligent and subtle writing and art go hand in hand perfectly and really make this a title to get in to big time.

Story 9/10
Art 9/10
Overall 18/20

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