The second issue of Unfollow was… about the same as the first issue. Good characterization and decent writing, but a story that still feels like it hasn’t really moved all that much. Will the third issue change that? Is it good?
Unfollow #3 (Vertigo Comics)
What was 140, is now 139. 139 people are still standing and heading towards the private island of Larry Ferrell in the Bahamas. What exactly is going on?
More than the last issue, there seems to be a bit of story progression here. The characters finally made it to the island, there seems to be something going on with Ferrell himself, a person on the 140 has died, and a sinister idea has been planted in the heads of everyone there (reminds me of that board game 13 Dead End Drive). It’s not a whole lot given how subtly things play out, but it is something and seems to signal that things will start happening next time at least.
The writing and characterization by Rob Williams still is pretty good here. He does an excellent job when it comes to characterizing and developing characters. Everyone feels uniquely different from each other in personality, how they interact from each other, and in their presence (especially Abassi). The dialogue and narration sounds natural and normal enough, except with Farrell at points when he drops exposition or gives his world view. Though that’s more excusable considering the kind of character he has been. The pacing is smooth and storytelling flows nicely—except maybe the opening scene in Ferguson, which seems a bit tacked on. Overall, still not bad when it comes to the actual writing of the comic.
Then should we call it manslaughter?
Despite the minor bits of progression, Unfollow still comes across as uneventful and very slow. By the very end of the third issue, the series finally feels like it is going somewhere… but only a little. It feels like the comic took too long to get here given how little has been accomplished and how unexciting it has been. I’m still interested in seeing where the series goes, but people following this comic on a monthly basis (especially at four dollar asking price) may move on if there’s been so little happening.
Besides that, there are two other problems. The first is the portrayal of Courtney, this rich girl who used to be poor for about five seconds and is now one of the 140/139. She appeared in the first issue and seemed like a thrill seeker, tossing off the chains of her old life and throwing caution to the wind by giving away her trust fund money. This issue… not so much. She felt different in how she acted and interacted—less friendly and outgoing.
The other problem is the artwork by Mike Dowling. His work looked a little bit better last issue when it was cleaner, but this issue felt like a step back. The guy does decent scenery and layouts, but his characters are just over detailed with too many lines and patchwork on their bodies and their faces. This is especially bad when one of the characters has a skin condition, but doesn’t look all that different from everyone else. Even some of the facial expressions feel limited and don’t sell you on what people are feeling.
I have a feeling we really shouldn’t be asking you to walk a straight line right now.
Is It Good?
Unfollow #3 ends on a note where things seem like they’re picking up and that big things will be happening. However, the remainder of the issue is more of the same. Decent writing, artwork that struggles with depicting characters, and a story that’s moving too slow for its own good. I’m still very interested personally with seeing where this series goes next and what will happen. However, it’s very hard to recommend it when there are just better executed and more exciting comics out there, especially in a monthly format.