When it comes to violence and morality this series has been the hot topic since its onset.
The characters have powers but are not using them for good in the black and white sense of the word. They are taking out people before they commit their crimes and they’re beating them senseless without explanation. Heck they are even killing. So far this comic has been a challenging read for those out there expecting an easy narrative, but it has been rewarding to those who wait. Issue #4 is here and I ask the question, is it good?
They’re Not Like Us #5 (Image Comics)
Last issue our protagonist was wondering why her fellow housemates don’t use their own names. It’s at this moment she realized she didn’t know her own. The head of the house somehow wiped her name from her memory, potentially to make her a good little soldier, but she’s having none of it. Unfortunately for her she woke up and found herself mysteriously where she wasn’t before. Now one of her housemates breaks it to her what the head of the house’s backstory is to dissuade her from wanting to quit.
Skeptical Doctor is skeptical.
If any of you were frustrated with the lack of character development you are in for a treat with this issue. Most of the characters get a backstory, some more brief than others, to explain why they’re all so hellbent on enacting justice. If you guessed most of them were castaways you’re right. The leader, aka The Voice, gets the most robust backstory and it’s a tragic one. Writer Eric Stephenson does a good job making him just sympathetic enough to feel bad for him, but not enough to stop being wary of him. The backstory also adds a new detail to his powers that changes the game a bit and will make you want to learn more.
The story also ramps up as all the characters have to make decisions… soon, anyways. They don’t just yet, but it’s all set up and balanced in a way that should increase your anticipation for the next issue. Syd’s portion, which gets the most time besides The Voice’s backstory, does run on too long. She’s sitting there hearing the facts, but already knows what she wants. She of course is the reader, but isn’t given enough to reflect on outside of what we’re chewing.
Simone Gane’s art continues to be excellent. The guy draws hair and environments so well. His stuff is frankly good enough to put on a wall. Considering there are no flash powers or splash pages in this book and you respect his skill even more. One page, mostly of a gorgeous mansion owned by Syd’s parents, is jaw droppingly good. It’s not only organic, but unique to his style and makes one wish he drew something less steeped in reality like Alice in Wonderland.
It depends on how good and how bad.
Is It Good?
Fleshing out characters in a series that makes you wait is always the payload you’ve been looking for and especially satisfying when the series is so well written. Enjoyable on levels no other comic can deliver.