In Review: Animosity #16

The truth is revealed about the Walled City and Kyle's visions lead to an unexpected terror.

The cover: Against a blue starfield a human raises a rifle as Sandor stands just before his character. Or is this the abstract image of a blue human face, with the two stars as eyes, with the human and dog within him/her/it? Rafael de Latorre and Marcelo Maiolo have created this interesting image that could mean almost anything. Perhaps reading the issue will solidify a reader’s opinion. Overall grade: B

The story: “Power: Part Three” by Marguerite Bennett has a lot going on and it’s great. The book opens on three different characters who are symbolically looking for their family: Jesse, Sandor, and Kyle. A turn of the page has jumped to nine months in the past at the Fortress of Animilitary, where Kyle is called over by Greyhound Pearl. The dog likes what Kyle has been doing and wants the human to truly join their pack. The story then moves to the present in the White Rose Forest in Georgia where Kyle is on the ground after getting shot. His walkie-talkie begins to transmit. It’s Jesse telling him that she’ll be okay. “You did the right thing. You did what Sandor couldn’t do. You kept me safe. You gave me a home.” Kyle begins to cry. “I”ll be okay, Kyle. They’ll love me. They’ll keep me. I’m okay.” Meanwhile at the Walled City, the reader gets to see what a day in Jesse’s new life is like: speeches on how humanity needs to retake its rightful place, with the headmistress saying, “The Wake was a cheat…We must take back what is ours. We must become the masters once more.” The girls are escorted by armed guards to hear the headmistress speak, Jesse sees armed soldiers training and animals forced to labor for humans. The scene on Page 6 solidifies Jesse’s character and introduces her to three young girls being held: Nora, Brooklyn, and Abigail. The majority of the issue is Jesse not adjusting to her new life and the girls learning the horrible reason they’re being treated differently than men. This is a nightmare without any violence and gore. For a writer to horrify a reader with a character’s exposition demonstrates their skill and Bennett absolutely does this. The book ends back in the forest with Kyle still on his back, possibly becoming delusional as his wound continues to slowly kill him. The delusions end on the final page with a terrible reveal. Overall grade: A+ 

The art: There are two different artists credited with this issue, Rafael de Latorre & Ornella Savarese, but it’s not stated who is responsible for which pages, or if one finished the other’s work. I like to see this in a credits’ list so that I may proper cite the correct person. However, in this case, I couldn’t tell the difference between pages as the book looks wholly unified. The first page is a cool summary of where the three main characters are at this moment in their lives with the narration discussing motherhood. Not only are the characters in the three circles neat, but the silhouettes around them are terrific. Throughout the issue characters remain silent, giving a look to others or their situation. These panels require the artists to reveal something about the characters without text, making the reader understand what’s going through the character’s head. The first time this happens is at the end of the second page with Kyle and continues with him in a vastly different situation on the next page. He looks great. Jesse is a heartbreaker in the panel in the upper right on Page 5. What the animals are enduring on 4 and 5 is a shock considering how they’ve been shown throughout this series. The background on 7’s fourth paragraph is fantastic, adding much to what’s being discussed. 9’s upper right panel beautifully defines a character’s nature. There’s an action sequence on 10 that’s extremely well done. The main speaker on 14 is painful to look at given what she’s saying. Page 20 is a full-paged splash and it’s a fantastic image to leave the reader in a panic until the next issue. Overall grade: A

The colors: Rob Schwager’s colors are really strong on this issue. The artwork that surrounds the three circles on the opening page are given a combination of crimsons that make the visuals powerful. The flashback pages are given lighter colors than the story in the present, giving a positive tone, as the past always is. The splatter of red on Page 3 instantly tells the reader, through colors, what’s occurred. Notice how the the background becomes darker as the scene progresses on that page, which is what happens to Kyle’s soul. The pages set in the Walled City are very brown, darkening the tone of the visuals and suggesting something old, which is what the headmistress wants to return to. Jesse is the brightest colored character in this location, to get the reader’s focus and to show that she doesn’t belong in this setting. The coloring on 18 is cosmic. The last page has the character’s dialogue outlined in bright red, signifying the character’s anger. Overall grade: A 

The letters: Dialogue, scene settings, dialogue, weak dialogue, transmissions are what letterer Marshall Dillon contributes to this issue. I do wish there was a different font for the first page which is an omniscient narrator. It’s differed from dialogue by the color of the boxes containing the text, which is fine, but I initially believed that this was being delivered by a character. The scene settings continue to impress, looking like bubble letters suited for a lighter tale, which makes them incredibly jarring when they appear. The weak dialogue is in a smaller font and thinner line than the regular dialogue, communicating to the reader that the speaker can’t make their voice any louder. Overall grade: A

The final line: The truth is revealed about the Walled City and Kyle’s visions lead to an unexpected terror. The story will hit you like The Handmaiden’s Tale and the visuals ensure you grasp the horror. I loved every scene with Jesse and Kyle’s tale was a fall into darkness. This is great in every possible way. Overall grade: A

To order a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Animosity-16/digital-comic/673081?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

To see the cover visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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