By Jarred A. Luján — If you’ve been following along with my reviews, I’ve enthusiastically written about Gideon Falls for several issues now. Each time I sit down to write a new review, I genuinely worry that I’m going to end up repeating myself each time because…well, because this book continues to be so damn good.
This week’s Gideon Falls #14 hits like a mortar. After a couple of issues where we’ve been away from our main characters, writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino connect another set of dots for us, and they are astonishing. We are finally unveiling some key points on how these two storylines are merging, but, in true Gideon Falls fashion, readers are again left with far more questions than answers.
In my first review of this book, I noted that Lemire’s ability to plot that way—to open up more questions than answers—was really one of its best draws. Fourteen issues in, there is still an absolute mastery of plot management going on. The thing that I’m really starting to get drawn into here, is how lean this plot is. With more and more uncovered, all the small details that seemed superfluous in previous issues are beginning to really take form, they’re beginning to unveil themselves as part of a far more intricate web. Lemire and Sorrentino don’t waste panels, they are weaving a fabric that few storytellers, in any medium, can properly manage.
Another great aspect of this is how brilliantly re-readable this entire series is. So, when I write reviews, especially ones about comics that have been going for quite some time, I make it a habit to re-read previous issues. I want to make sure I know what’s going on in the plot and where we stand, so I can make sure to pick up little things. With this week’s issue, and immediately after reading my review copy, I went back to issue #1, scrounging for little details that were peppered in. I’ve done a full re-read of this entire series a couple times and I can confirm: knowing what you know now adds a little bit of depth to the previous issues. I won’t go into any potentially spoiler-y details, but it’s brilliant. It’s helpful that Sorrentino has some of my absolute favorite splash and double-spread pages in all of comics peppered throughout this series, too.
If there is one thing I am going to be openly (maybe annoyingly) repetitive about in each review I do for this book, it’s going to be about how perfect a choice Sorrentino is for this story. I swear to you, I’ve said that every single review so far, but he just gets it with this. The way pages are designed and panels are handled gives the book such an incredible, out of control feel. They add to the sort of anxious horror by shirking off the comfort of traditional paneling designs, and doing something very unique. If nothing else, I am here to cheer that part of the book time and time again.
Overall: This week sets up some big moves for the coming issues, and I am very, very ready for it. 9.0/10
Gideon Falls #14
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Steve Wands
Publisher: Image Comics
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Jarred A. Luján makes comics, studies existential philosophy, and listens to hip-hop too loudly. For bad jokes and dog pictures, you can follow him on Twitter.