Since we last checked in, Unfollow started picking up the pace and moved beyond the initial first arc, introducing us to the cast and setup for the series. For this issue, we’ll be focusing in on just one of the characters in this large group of characters: Courtney. Is it good?
Unfollow #7 (Vertigo Comics)
Courtney is one of the many 140 (or should I say 138 at this point), selected to receive a vast fortune from a dead billionaire. She’s:
[the] “It” girl of the 140 List: an heiress with looks, brains and all the attitude. And now, she’s got her very own hit reality TV show. So what puts the “curt” in Courtney? Why does she hate her father so much? And who is the mystery girl in the next room?
One of the strongest points to Unfollow is its characterization and this issue excels in that department. By having an issue devoted to just one character, Unfollow #7 allows for plenty of character depth and growth, instead of having to split the focus between several characters and giving us small morsels of insight into them each. As the solicit disclosed, Unfollow #7 in particular is all about Courtney.
Courtney comes across as a vain and spiteful person, especially towards her fans and her dad. However, over the course of this issue, we start to see reasons for that and how it all relates back to the time when she was first kidnapped. You come away from this issue better understanding her… though her behavior and decisions here still remain inconsistent with her behavior in past issues, like why she still holds onto the money she gets from being one of the 140.
One of the weakest points for the series in the past was the artwork by Mike Dowling, who just really never got a good handle on drawing the characters. Here though, we have guest artist Marguerite Sauvage stepping in to draw and she does a solid job. Her style is much cleaner than Dowling’s, allowing her to draw the characters better and capture a wide range of expression in their faces and body language. The layouts are well-constructed and easy to follow, especially during the strange flashback scenes. Sauvage also does the coloring and it looks beautiful — with bright and gaudy colors during the celebrity scenes and darker and red colors during the eerie flashbacks. Sauvage’s style might not usually fit the book given its tone, but for this single issue focusing just on Courtney her style and skill is a perfect fit.
Despite this being one of the best issues of the series to date, there are still some problems. For one thing, the dialogue is really awkward and unnatural sounding in a lot of places. It stands out the most in the opening scene at the pool where it begins with Courtney mocking a woman with a tattoo above her butt, where she pulls out a bunch of references that don’t really work. Then there’s a scene featuring a man who walks up to her and starts talking about her life story in an awkward exposition dump. He’s basically just saying things to her that she already knows and is mostly just there to fill in the audience about what is going on with her, which really pulled me out of the experience.
Hull? *looks around* Are you talking to your imaginary friend?
Though the art is excellent, there a few flubs; Courtney looks the same in the present as when she was a teenager, some layouts don’t flow well (a person is missing from a panel despite the fact they should be there and they have a word balloon present). It’s not deal breaking or anything, just painfully noticeable at points.
Is It Good?
Unfollow #7 is a big step up for the series, providing an important look into the backstories of one of the main characters, with some lovely looking artwork to go along with it. It’s fascinating to read and it’s easy to see how Courtney turned out the way she did. While there have been a few problems along the way, Unfollow is turning out to be one of the more intriguing character dramas currently in comics.