Written by: Chip Zdarsky, Illustrated by: Ramon K Perez, Colours by: Mike Spicer, Lettering by: Rus Wooton,
ISSUE RECAP: Daniel walls out of the fire that Kreegs and Ted put him in. Both believing that he was dead, are now shocked that he was able to survive. Meanwhile, Laura and Tanya continue their shootout in Galen's office, knowing they need to go save Daniel before Galen and the others can discuss what just happened. They find a place to lay low, but they all know they can’t just run; Galen and the deputies would find them and they wouldn’t have the curse to fall back on. They have to take the fight to them before Galen, Ted, and Kreegs change the game entirely.
So we now reach the final arc of writer Chip Zdarsky's horror-action-adventure-thriller. I am slightly disappointed in myself that I didn’t read it sooner. It’s been more than 2 months since we had the one-off issue Stillwater: The Escape, and it’s been more than 4 months since the last issue of the main series. So I’m going to blame it on my memory that I had forgotten how good this series was. Zdarsky clearly is now having fun like a composer building to the inevitable crescendo of a dramatic piece of music. As we hit the final stretch, he can just let loose with everything. Despite the months between issues, his writing hasn’t lost a beat; the fact that we get straight into it from the start and it doesn’t stop until the last page is a credit to his writing skills.
I do think that the “shock” ending is spoilt a little by the front cover, which is a shame, as it really did show how much more dangerous Galen is compared to the Judge. This end was also hinted at in the one-shot, where I think it made a bigger impact upon the story.
Ramon K Perez’s art has been consistently great throughout the series, and it’s no different here. Although, just because this is such a visual medium, I started to question things. For instance, when Daniel walks out from the stake and fire, his trousers and top are mostly fine, but his face is burned and his hair is half gone. Now I do understand that you wouldn’t want to show certain things, but to keep this grounded, his trousers and shirt would have been the first to be burnt off as they would catch fire quickly. It also got me thinking about how fast people heal within this mysterious town of Stillwater (where no one dies), as his hair is fully grown back by the end of the issue. These are very minor points but for a story and a medium that is visual, these things can be rather striking.
I do think that this is the most violent and graphic issue so far, and it delivers the gore very well. Ramon K Perez clearly has an eye for this kind of thing, and he does excel at it.
Another thing that I noticed was that the last panel was very similar in both this issue and the one-shot. Both are done for dramatic effect and mostly hit the mark. I noticed that it looked similar, and I had to see them side by side to see that they were identical, but Perez has changed enough for it to fit and not look like a copy-and-paste job. I was really impressed with this, as I’ve seen many other artists just use the same exact panel.
Overall, what a great issue to start off the final arc. None of the creative team have lost a step in the time since the last issue. Highly enjoyable, rated a definite 4 out of 5, only let down by the fact that I stopped to question the lore of the town with regards to healing, instead of continuing the story.
Stillwater issue 13 was released by Image Comics on 25th May from your Local Comic Shop as well as comixology
Andrew Carr felt 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.