Eric’s Image Comics Reviews: GREEN WAKE #9 & #10
Published: February 27, 2012 - 7:41am
All good things come to an end, which has happened to Green Wake in the throws of its last two issues. The creative team of Kurtis J. Wiebe and Riley Rossmo aren't letting it go without a fight and pack in as much story as possible into these 32 page comic books.
One of the greatest series of last year is coming to a close. With Green Wake #9 and #10, Kurtis J. Wiebe hits the narrative heights of their predecessors, but leaves room for readers to only guess at the potential that this wonderful book had in store had it continued. The best thing these two issues have going for them is the focus given to everything that is going on. There's a lot of text in each, but it never seems to become tangential even with several plot lines being tied up in a short amount of time. The writer has always had a good handle on his story in this comic and that work in the beginning shows with great care to show that the philosophical precepts touched upon before are exacerbated to a full and logical extent. Even when a bit of Deus Ex Machina is utilized in issue #10 to bring about resolution, Green Wake makes things personal as it sifts through the broken remains of loss and regret to find something healthy. While the story remains entertaining and engaging, there's more underneath that warrants thought beyond that of the normal punch-fest. Readers may have to make some connections in the end, but it's a book that's definitely worth the challenge.
The only real minor flaw with these two issues is more the fault of premature cancellation than of Wiebe's writing. One will be able to tell that there was so much more story to tell, but not quite the room in which to write it. Late in issue #9 and, moreso, #10 the word balloons continuously grow making each monologue more voluminous and each plot point more convoluted. It is still satisfying in a metaphysical, surreal sense, but those looking for something more straightforward may be lost especially if they are new initiates to the series. There's also the problem of pacing, which forgoes the usually deliberate unveiling of secrets within secrets for a door open cleansing of the air. While the necessity of such a compromise is plain, it messes with one of the strongest parts of the series. Still, the writer works his damnedest to work out the best story possible out of what he was allotted.
In reviewing this series thus far, I've compared it to the works of Dante, Marx, and Freud, but such an effort at an end is deserving the words of Shakespeare, “nothing in his life became him like the leaving it; he died as one that had been studied in his death.” There's something admirable in finishing with such gusto that the enthusiasm is infectious as the story barrels on to its close. Even though it might not be everything it could have been, what is there is great. Trying to find solace in some lost potential shouldn't diminish that.
Riley Rossmo's art keeps its state of flux throughout each issue. It's ingenious how well he retains the tone of everything that is written even though the color palette is relatively limited. It's more about using the clear contrast of light and dark to follow the writing's ebbs and flows (Much more like a dimmer switch compared to the more stark stuff of someone like Charles Burns.). As things start to take shape, the gruesome horror designs that made Green Wake nightmare fuel crosses from creepy to poignant. Everything has its order and purpose despite the general sense of chaos surrounding it, which is a pretty holistic summary for the look and feel of this book.
Yes, it sucks that Green Wake is ending with these last two issues, but such is the way of an industry that has grown very much based upon brand recognition and costumer loyalty (Let the DC vs. Marvel wars continue.), which isn't a bad thing in and of itself. Plus, every so often, there's a Bone, The Walking Dead, or Sandman out there that brings something different to the masses. Luckily both Wiebe and Rossmo don't seem to be stopping any time soon with the former's Peter Panzerfaust showing a lot of promise in it's first issue.
Story: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art: Riley Rossmo
Cover: Riley Rossmo
32 Pages/ FC
Issue #9 On Sale Now!
Issue #10 On Sale February 29, 2012!