by Donna Rock (@df_rock)
As much as #10 seemed to be a build-up issue, #11 is… a buildup issue. The stage is still being set, and now the players move into position (hey, Gillen used the football references first, not me). Some people see “filler issue” and roll their eyes “ugh”ing to whatever universal force in the sky they prefer — “So nothing good happens?” By no means do I suggest this is an issue worth skipping. There’s a development or two that’s quite, ah, large; especially with our beloved little God of Mischief. (I shall say no more.) We are getting a pretty solid picture of what exactly this big showdown is going to entail. Super teens are super stressed — Wiccan probably the most, and understandably so. Noh-Varr has his shirt off (which may not directly relate to aforementioned stress, but it felt like I should say it). Kate faces the same crisis every semi-adult has (well not exactly, but the underlying theme is the same). And let me say, Leah and Mother make one hell of a psycho-vindictive duo. Issue #10 seemed to be a backward motion build-up, uncovering information and explaining motives that have been at work the entire time. Issue #11 is more of a forward feeling build-up; you sense the clock ticking down during the calm before the storm. This issues pacing is slower, like the one before it, but the issue opens with an ass-kicking to quench those of us in the crowd who are blood-lusty. Of course, we get our regular dose of angsty late-teen drama. Gillen has this uncanny ability to throw some well-timed quick quips to break up the “super-serious-we’re-going-into-battle” mood. And of course, always appreciated is McKelvie’s talent for subtle but powerful expression in his figures, which compliments with Gillen’s writing so well. (Such a great duo for this series!)
Overall, this issue is heavy on the emotional work-through and set-up. Great news for those who crave that “OHHH SNAP!” drama. But if you’re looking for physical beat-downs then this might leave you wanting a little something more. However! Issue #12 (out next month on 11/20) looks like it’ll deliver all the ass-kickings and then some!