Stillwater #10 ADVANCE REVIEW: children start a revolution in a surprising, thought provoking issue

Written by: Chip Zdarsky, Illustrated by: Ramon K Perez, Colours by: Mike Spicer, Lettering by: Rus Wooton.

Daniel is about to be executed by Ted when Galen shows up with all the other children of Stillwater. Making him turn his gun on Galen. This forces Sarge to aim at Ted. A standoff ensues in which the children are victorious.

Flashback to 1991, where Galen is told by Laura that growing up is a normal thing that supposed to happen. We jump to 1996, where we find out that it was Galen who set up the letter to Daniel, enticing him back to Stillwater. He set up the events that have led to what’s happening. He wants to overthrow both Ted and the Judge. However, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and although Galen wants to do what’s right for the people, power does corrupt. So can there be a just ruler of this “cursed” town?

This was a very strange issue to read. The way that it was set up and then played out had me thinking that it was the last issue of the series. Then towards the end, we start to see a change in plot which looks the most to be leading down a similar path. This is where the most thought provoking part of the book comes in. Throughout the series we have seen how characters change and adapt to situations, fully believing that they are doing what’s right for their community, however when you get one person with so much power, that power can go to their head, and things that might be ok for some are not good for everyone. Then with a change in authority figures, with everyone being human, aren’t we all prone to making the same mistakes? This is the issue that’s presented here. Galen has been cursed to spend at least 20 years within a child’s body. Being forced to grow mentally but not physically. So always being limited in what he can do by his body. The “rulers” of the town didn’t really consider how this curse or gift could affect the children, but he and the others have been forced to live with this for 20 years. This is something I picked up upon in some of my early reviews, how much can it affect the “children’s” mentality.

This now brings us to this issue, where Galen has been able to overthrow the Judge, but his judgment could be looked at as being in the same vein. So, at what point do the best intentions just get corrupted by the situation? Is Galen just treading the same path that the Judge did, but quicker due to the search for “justice”? These are some of the points brought up here in a very intelligent way, that don’t express a good or bad side. We can understand each point of view, giving us the ability to make our own choices about who we believe to be in the right. This just shows how incredible the writing is by Chip Zdarsky, and I hope it continues to be this strong.

Visually this book has been consistently great. The artwork by Ramon K Perez has been fantastic, and I love that this issue really focused on Galen's facial expressions. So much of the story can be told through his expressions, just proving that Perez is at the top of his game. There was one panel especially that I loved, which is the one above, showing Galen literally kicking a chair off the highest point in the room. This really exaggerated the point that he is overthrowing the “establishment;” literally kicking aside what was before to start something new. Which is why the next panel shows him crouching in the place where the chair was.

This has been the most thought provoking issue of the series so far, which is why I enjoyed it so much. The team is doing some amazing things, and I’m both excited and worried about the course ahead. I want there to be more of this book, but only as long as the quality is at this high standard. I’m hoping it doesn’t slip, as I’d rather it end on a high.

Stillwater issue 10 will be released by Image Comics on September 22 at your Local Comic Shop or on comixology


Andrew Carr was blessed to grow up watching the animated series of Batman, X-Men, and his favorite, Spider-Man.This started his dive into the comics world, which resulted in meeting his amazing cosplaying wife Imogen. They live in England with their Sinister Six dogs.

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