You could tell at the end of UFOlogy #4 that business was about to pick up, but just how many revelations can writers James Tynion IV and Noah J. Yuenkel pack into 22 pages? Is it good?
UFOlogy #5 (BOOM! Studios)
In contrast to the rest of the the BOOM! Studios mini-series, the penultimate issue of of UFOlogy begins at a breakneck speed and never lets up. Enough with all that suspense and tension, let’s blow the doors off!
Action is the name of the game as Becky and Malcolm are finally confronted by Military Melt Man, and the end result is not pretty. As they race from the junkyard, you’d think the Sheriff’s flashback would slow things down, but not when he recounts what REALLY happened on that fateful night, 10 years ago! And you’re definitely not catching your breath after the family gutpunch that follows. How will Malcolm’s dad face him after finally admitting the truth?
We finally figure out what Melt Man’s all about at the close, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Why does it seem like Dr. Lehrer is steering the ship directly for it?
Is It Good?
UFOlogy #5 is bombshell after bombshell, which makes for a thrilling experience, but it’s such a stark difference to what’s come before that it almost seems rushed.
But if you overlook the story’s overall pacing for a sec, and consider this issue on its own, it’s kind of a masterwork. The pages are turning as fast as they’ll go as everything falls into place with more “oh shit!” moments than you can handle. Still, there are some more secrets left in the tank for the finale. I mean, why were all those boxes sent to the junkyard?
And hey! Despite the nonstop rocket ride, we still get some trademark cool language bits! Plus more character development—for Becky, anyway—as she finally puts those amateur sleuthing skills to good use. Great display of range by the writers.
It’s really artist Matthew Fox who stretches the most, though. His work in this series has been largely overshadowed by the sublime color palettes of Adam Metcalfe, but Fox will no longer be ignored! As the characters race around in the beginning of this issue, some nifty speed lines add surprisingly effective perceptions of depth, and the panel layouts slow things down just enough during the initial fight scene so you can take everything in, before we rush off to the next page. Of course Metcalfe is still great, water’s wet, Bob’s your uncle.
UFOlogy #5 is kind of shocking in how it departs from the tone of the the previous four issues, but it’s not unwelcome. I expected more intrigue but got Close Encounters on acid instead, and I’m not complaining. The hurried pace here makes me expect things will only get crazier to close out, and I’ve warmed to the enormity of the stakes enough that my body’s ready. The creative team continues to bob when you expect them to weave, which might be disappointing, but it just makes the journey all the more exhilarating. UFOlogy continues to be a special book, for the clear reasons and for the ones you never anticipated.