Sunday, October 8, 2017

Elsewhere #3 - Review

Gimme Shelter

Written by: Jay Faerber
Art by: Sumeyye Kesgin
Colorist: Ron Riley
Letterer/Designer: Thomas Mauer
Publisher: Image
Retail Price: $3.99
Release Date: 4 October 2017
Reviewer: Andrew McAvoy

The last issue of Elsewhere left us on something of a cliffhanger, as a swarm of flesh eating insects called the Vanthi sent our erstwhile heroine Amelia Earhart, and her makeshift companion DB Cooper, fleeing. Her Korvathian Rebel hosts have however, been split in two, and in their panic only part of the pack that was hosting Amelia now accompany her, with the others fleeing in a different direction.

It's not long before Amelia and D.B. spot the ideal shelter in the form of a World War Two Nazi submarine, continuing to add to the tally of people gone missing from Earth that have found themselves transplanted into this strange alien environment. In the submarine shelter the pace of the book slows down nicely and Amelia is in a position to question the Korvathian Rebel Meyrick about his reference to other human visitors (which he alluded to cryptically in the last issue). It transpires his reluctance to comment previously was due to those humans not being as amenable as Amelia (leaving the reader with the hint that it may have been the former custodians of the submarine).

Meanwhile we find out that the other group of Korvathian Rebels, including Tavel - who helped free Amelia and D.B. from Kragen's cell in the earlier part of this arc - have had the misfortune to stumble upon Kragen's troops. When Amelia and co. emerge from the submarine they happen upon the aftermath of this encounter, which has resulted in the execution of their comrade Tavel, and a note to the effect that the remainder of the group has been taken hostage, and will only be released if Amelia is turned over to Kragen again.

Ever resourceful however, Amelia has a Plan B up her sleeve, and suggests that rather than hand her over, they arm themselves to the teeth with the Nazi armaments from the submarine. In the last page, Kesgin's art and Faerber's dialogue work brilliantly in tandem to deliver a killer last line. It is a line straight out of Saturday morning matinee movies and is just great.

I've already got my CD of Wagner's Flight of the Valkyries down from the shelf awaiting the final issue in this arc (only joking I don't own a copy - just a little dramatic license) to accompany the anticipated kick-ass action of a 1930's female American Aviation pioneer, a 1970s heist-hijacker, and a crew of alien Rebels, kicking Kragen's ass with a munitions factory's worth of Nazi weaponry. One small point is that we know D.B. Cooper can't really be trusted and this issue shows him plotting something - it will be interesting to see if he is a really a reliable member of the team in issue 4.

Bits and Pieces:

The story in this series has been consistently great, but it is brought to life by some equally fine art work.  Kesgin gives great set pieces and in Amelia she continues to depict an action hero and heroine in a realistic fashion. The look of Amelia reminds me of Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator; only combined with action spirit and dress sense of Indiana Jones. Special mention should also be made in relation to Riley's colors in this book. There is very careful tone progression from the initial scenes set during sunlight in the forest, and then alternating of greens and dark blues as dominant colors so as to contrast the scenes inside the submarine (greens) and outside (dark blues). The distinctive use of color has been a hallmark of the series so far. The writing from Faerber shows a fine ability to speed up and slow down, and plot-wise we see a lot of material packed into a small space. An excellent book, and an excellent series; I eagerly await the final installment in the 4 issue arc.


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