Written by Emma Vieceli, illustrated by Claudia Leonardi and Andrea Izzo.
Life Is Strange: Strings #10, deals with and explores the calm before the storm. The story in this chapter is about the newfound intimacy of friendship and desire for an ordinary life. In the previous issue, Max had finally revealed the truth about her time-walking and time-flickering powers; now it is time for her to find the exact reason, or person, or object that brought her to this timeline.
It was an emotional chapter, as Rachel and Max at last talk it out. Rachel wants to know about the other Rachel in another timeline who is no more. Max tries her best to explain things. I personally felt Rachel was not asking this question to quench her curiosity, but because she was worried about the other Chloe, who is alone without a lover or her best friend. Rachel is by far my favourite character in the story. She is determined and speaks her mind, but most important, she understands how relationships are complicated and never lets people's action or inaction sour her clarity. And she is extremely smart; in the last issue, she had deliberately aired live on her social media her and Chloe rescuing Max from kidnappers. This act of bravado garnered her more followers and an award from the city council. What does Rachel do in this event? Well, I am not spoiling it for you. But I can assure you that she doesn’t waste her time.
We also get to see Tristan the homeless boy, who has been disengaging from reality so much that he becomes invisible. Though I have previously stated I don’t like his addition, we know he has a bigger role to play, and to add another memory to Max’s already hyper-aware brain. Tristan’s narrative feels like an ode to all the people who fall through the cracks of society and become homeless. I couldn’t help but compare it to the core theme of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Sometimes people flicker through the grid and no one misses them. Okay, I may have warmed up to Tristan a bit.
Chloe is like my dream girlfriend: dedicated and affectionate, proud and loveable, and supportive and cute! I will not stop fawning over the fact that in this timeline these two girls have an adorable relationship without anyone dying in the end. It is interesting how the writer and artist are playing on the "sad lesbian couple" trope of the game narrative, and giving the girls a chance at a life they never had.
Max and Tristan have the talk about the reason why Max has not flickered in the last two years, and they zero in on the common factor when their timelines began to merge. We have a moment when Max has apparently time-leapt and rewind it while she is with the group, but it’s not illustrated. We know it has happened, but the usual fading background colour or action repetition is not shown. So my question is: Who time walked? Was it Max or Tristan?
The art style is consistent, clean and full of clarity. It's sunny, it’s full of life, and things seems to be getting better for the people. The beach and the travelling van, they all radiate a sort of hope for peace and permanence. The dialogues are so well written, they are to the point and well delivered. Each character has a distinctive way of speaking, nowhere does the writer's voice creep in!
The scope of time travel is vast, yet the pattern of time travel is inclined on the predictable narrative pattern. If we take away the origin game narrative from the comics, these stories could be a wonderful standalone YA Graphic Novel.
The next issue is the third of the four-part series, and I am really starving for some action, which has been completely missing from this issue. Maybe the intention of the creators is to lure us into a comfortable story, and then shoot and shatter it with the most satisfying tragic bullet.
Life is Strange #10 from Titan Comics is available November 13, 2019.
Life Is Strange: Dust
Life Is Strange: Waves