Written by: Chip Zdarsky, Illustrated by: Ramon K Perez, Colours by: Mike Spicer, Lettering by: Rus Wooton.
Laura is back, and she has a meeting with Daniel and Tanya, who are fed up with Galen and Sheriff Kreegs. What started as an uprising against the Judge has become the same situation, with someone else in charge. They agree that the only thing to do to finally be free is to kill both of them and do it quietly so they don’t alert their armed security. As Daniel puts it to Tanya “I’d rather die doing what’s right, than live another day as a coward”, but even with marksman aim and a great plan, they are going up against Marines. So anything can happen.
We are back with another exhilarating issue from the creative team, however this one just feels very strange. It was issue 10 that the Judge was executed and since then, things have escalated very quickly. Galen has become the new Judge, not just in name but in actions as well. We also have had a new sheriff, and Daniel, with help from his mum, has started to plan a revolution. All of this with time passing of over a year. Things are building very quickly and it’s making me wonder if we are getting to the end of the series. With no issues beyond this being solicited, it seems the team will be taking a break before the apparent final chapter in the saga. So until then we will be left with a one shot Stillwater: The Escape.
Going into the last chapter of the story is exciting, however unless something comes from the passing of a year in the story; for me there’s nothing added. The passing and with everything else happening over the last 2 issues just makes the book feel rushed, which is something that it never was before. It has been a slowly building suspense book, and I just hope that this change in pace doesn’t have a detrimental effect on the story.
Other than that, the writing in this issue has been fantastic, just like the series overall so far. We get a sense of how desperate the situation is from the things Daniel says and it makes it incredibly powerful. When characters are practically immortal and yet still feel trapped, we get fantastic lines like “tonight I finally live, or tonight I finally die.”Words like these show how desperate they have become, and also how this town is a curse rather than a gift, as they don’t feel like they are actually living due to the fact that they can’t die. It’s poetic stuff from a talent such as Zdarsky.
Artistically this is the darkest issue yet. With many reds, purples, and blacks, it adds to the suspenseful nature of the book. It’s also the cleanest issue, with crisp lines and defined colour palettes that are truly stunning. Even the action panels look beautiful, as you can see in the example above. Again, this gives me mixed feelings, as I don’t want the series to end as it keeps getting better, yet also I’m looking forward to the one-off to see how different artists handle the town.
Overall, this is a great finale to the second arc, which sets up a thrilling final chapter. This is a book that has been a favourite of mine, and now that we are in the final stages, I cannot recommend this enough, as now would be the best time to catch up with both volumes, ready for the last. For anyone who likes a suspenseful action book with a slice of horror thrown in, this is the series for you.
Stillwater Issue 12 will be released on 12th January from Image Comics at your Local Comic Shop as well as 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.