The second arc of Mirka Andolfo’s Unnatural has been a tense, action-packed game of cat and mouse. Leslie has spent the entire time in hiding or on the run from The Glance’s goons. Along the way, the once happy-go-lucky, blue-haired pig has become stronger, if less trusting. But is she any closer to solving the mystery that surrounds her life?
As the writer and artist of the series, Andolfo has done a great job of having both prose and pictures work together to tell her story. Much of the first arc was vividly colored and incredibly bright. The just-concluded second arc has been a little darker with more use of shadows. It has been a great bit of visual storytelling tied to the books’ events.
Unnatural #8 is slightly different. For the first time in the series, the art actually takes a back seat. This is an issue that is more concerned with dealing with its revelations and advancing plot. Whereas previous issues would have silent set pieces that allowed readers to take in what was happening, issue #8 is filled with exposition. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it kind of takes away from the book’s aesthetic.
Which is not to say that the issue looks bad. As usual, Andolfo’s art looks great. There is great panel placement in the issue and characters look very detailed. There are some gorgeous action scenes — the end of Unnatural has some particularly violent looking ones that fit the theme of the arc. Leslie’s internal struggles continue this issue. They are well done scenes culminating in a number of scenes that progress the story and show the character development of the protagonist.
This is where Andolfo’s writing has really stood out in the past few issues. Unnatural started as a surprisingly deep series about a blue-haired pig and her misadventures in love. Initially, it looked like it would be a love story that dealt with topical social issues.
The second arc has made it clear this is a story about the growth of one character. Looking back at the earliest issues of Unnatural, Leslie is an entirely different pig. She has her worries and with each issue they become a little more serious, but at its core the book was about a character’s story. Since then Andolfo has written an exciting tale about that same character’s growth. The last few pages have been the result of what has transpired over the course of the last eight issues. It makes readers excited as to what is going to happen to Leslie next.
The dialogue in the issue is done well for the most part. There are some great exchanges between Leslie and the Albino. Andolfo also does a great job of coverying just how exhausted the fugitive pig has become. It is impossible to not feel for Leslie in some of her weaker moments. There may be too many revelations in the issue, however.
Unnatural ends its second arc on a strong note. The finale lets readers know how far Leslie has come along since her personal journey first began. The cliffhanger will truly test Mirka Andolfo’s writing. It has been a lot of fun getting readers to this point. Will Andolfo be able to provide a satisfactory ending?