After a one month hiatus, Unnatural from Image Comics has returned. The second story arc begins with Leslie feeling alone while she is on the run. The media and public have painted her as a perverted murderer while the government and a cult want her for their own nefarious purposes. On top of everything, Leslie still has to deal with the mysterious white wolf in her dreams.
Since its debut issue, Unnatural has been filled with color and life. Mirka Andolfo’s art and color have been amazing throughout the series and have brought to it a fantastic quality. In a story filled with anthropomorphic characters a cartoonish look is expected, but Andolfo has been able to provide an almost bubbly look to her book without downplaying its serious issues.
As the series has progressed and Unnatural has become darker, Andolfo’s work has mirrored the tone of the comic. There’s been more use of grays and blues and the brighter colors of the early issues have been downplayed. This is an excellent idea and successfully draws the reader into the book’s world.
Unnatural #5continues the trend of Andolfo’s art imitating her comic’s life as her art takes on a more somber look. This can be seen immediately. The first four issues had covers that were erotic, cute and sometimes frightening. The fifth issue of the series lets on this may be the most depressing issue of the series so far.This look continues throughout Unnatural # 5. Colors continue to take on a more muted look that coincides with the direction of the story. Our first look at Leslie sees her depressed with her head down. When characters are not sad, they are angry. It is an emotional issue that is filled with tears and blood.
As beautiful as the art is in Unnatural, it has always been the story that has set it apart. This issue is no different and serves two purposes: it’s continuing the story of Leslie, but it’s also the first issue of a new story arc. To that end, new characters are introduced while revelations about Leslie’s past are made.
This issue of Unnatural does an excellent job of showing a new side of Leslie. In the first story arc, Leslie had doubts and was afraid of where her life was headed but she was also always sure about the people in her life. Leslie no longer has that security blanket and the fifth issue shows her frightened, frustrated, and for the first time distrusting of those around her. This added characterization not only adds another dimension to Leslie, but to the story itself. Before readers rooted for things to turn out well for the blue haired pig, now we empathize with her.Unnatural #5 continues to make the strong social commentary the series is known for. How the media can influence the public’s opinion and homophobia are just two of the topics touched on. What Andolfo does well is she clearly gets her message across without overstating anything. She makes her point, takes a stand, and lets the story speak for itself and the readers come to their own conclusion. Andolfo is making a point, not giving a lecture.
Unnatural #5 is a great start in the next chapter of the series. Mirka Andolfo continues to infuse the story with great writing and beautiful art. Unnatural is a story that delivers a serious message but is also not afraid to have fun while doing it.