Life is Strange #12 is the final part of the third arc of the ongoing series by writer Emma Vieceli, artist Claudia Leonardi and colourist Andrea Izzo. The series that originally started as a short series but was extended into an ongoing after the success of the first few issues, so Life is Strange is definitely here to stay for some time. With heartwarming writing and artwork that conveys emotions brilliantly, this book is one of my favorites every week it’s released.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
What lies in store for Max, Chloe, and Rachel as the third arc of this time-twisting adventure reaches its finale? Acclaimed writers Emma Vieceli and artists Claudia Leonardi and Andrea Izzo continue the highly anticipated third arc of the official comic. Set in the world of the award-winning game from Square Enix and DONTNOD! Life is Strange 2: Episode 5 will be released December 3nd on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Tell me about it!
One of the biggest positives of this series for me is how it follows in the themes of LGBT characters that were present within the original video game. In a landscape where the largest two publishers rarely have much LGBT representation, it is always great to see the smaller publishers take on what the others should be doing. So far the entire series has been focused around two sets of relationships between women, the first being Max Caulfield and Chloe Price from one of the endings of the original Life is Strange, and the other being an alternate universe Chloe Price and Rachel Amber, who had been murdered in the game’s universe, and both relationships are written incredibly well by Vieceli.
There is no unnecessary drama and cheating within the relationships, especially considering the plot from the second arc onwards involves Max seeing an alternate universe version of her girlfriend but making no steps to break that Chloe’s relationship and instead, becoming good friends with Rachel. There is also no killing LGBT characters for dramatic tension, completely ignoring the unfortunate ‘bury your gays’ trope. The book is written with sensitivity and accuracy in displaying relationships as normal and far from sexualised as would usually happen within the comic book landscape.
Claudia Leonardi’s art is magnificent to look at. Whether it be the expressions of the characters themselves or some of the unique panelling that she includes throughout the series, such as in issue #4 where several pages used butterflies, a central theme and reoccurrence throughout the game and the series as a whole, as both a reference to the butterfly effect (a subsection of chaos theory by Edward Lorenz in which the wind created by the wings of a butterfly cause wind change and tornadoes elsewhere) and a unique way to panel the pages themselves.
Leonardi’s art is always simple and not overwhelming, nor is it too simplistic — she focuses more on the nuance of the characters’ expressions than large, sweeping actions that you would typically see from other series. Of course, when talking about the art, I can’t forget to mention Andrea Izzo, the colorist throughout the series, who helps bring the series to life with colors that range from muted and watercolored to bright and vibrant. While Leonardi is great on her own, the book would not be complete in its feel without the collaboration with Izzo.