Falling like Gerald Ford
Yup, it’s another review of a “The Fall” comic, this time issue #5. Y’all should know the drill by now, so I’ll stick to reviewing the book rather than any deeper look at the character himself. As per the norm the book is made up of different stories, so I’ll review them story by story.
I lied. I’m starting with the theme of the book. This issue of the fall seems to be primarily about one thing: Other people who think they can do the Fall’s job just as good as he can. The Fall is seen as a symbol to those whom the law has let down, to those who seek justice for the crimes that have slipped through the laws grasp. This has led to more than a few copy cats and the Fall is learning how to deal with the responsibility of having people look up to him.
Guilty Verdict is about the odd netherworld between law and justice that the Fall lies. It is clear from this story that he exists to uphold the law, that his brand of justice is meant to be dished out on those who have broken the law but have escaped proper punishment. He does not exist to bring moral justice. In this story he is met with a man who has helped bad men escape justice, but he does not punish him stating that he has “committed no crime”. It is a great look deeper into the Fall’s personality. He is not out to decide who has been bad or good, simply who has broken the law and gotten away with it. So the question is: Who’s law is he upholding? What happens if the law changes? Does the Fall change with the law?
Guilty Verdict surprised me, and is a great intro to the book. It takes a surprising twist as the man he is talking to decides that justice is more than the correct application of the law.
Lovetown: Strangers Part 4
Strangers has been going on for a while now. This arc is about a villain known only as the “Salisbury Slasher” who kills young women, ties them up gruesomely, and leaves a not for the Fall. This story is the best out of the book, primarily due to the artist and authors incredible grasp on the comic medium.
It is the art that instantly grabbed me. The tied up, decaying, broken body of a woman with a video tape in her mouth gave me nightmares. The detail is exquisitely morbid, and the way the panels flow together makes you feel like there are no panels at all, that you aren’t reading so much as experiencing.
But what got me is this: the author’s use of narration. Narration is a hard thing to pull off in a visual medium. Comics exist to “show”, not to “tell”, and actions are much more effective when done that way.
The Fall, a close up on his face, narrates what he is watching on the video tape. It is terror inducing. But what makes it even worse is that it is not drawn. The artist, already having proved he is more than capable of drawing the scenes described, takes a backseat to the authors words. The end result is thus: We, as readers, are tasked with imagining it ourselves. But due to the already gruesome art style our imagination takes it one step further. It is terrific, and an example of what the comic medium can accomplish.
See you on the Other Side
Grim Rascal is back with his Fall babies: The children of the Fall. This story focuses on the slowly recovering Russ, who is now more emotionally wounded than physically. This story isn’t about Russ though, it’s about the Fall, and how he’s slowly coming to terms with the consequences of being a symbol, and idol, an icon. He has finally accepted his role as a trend setter, but he is still unsure how to treat his would be sidekicks. The art is fantastic, making it seem like Russ and the Fall are the only two people in the world. The ending will leave you confused, but that’s what “to be continueds” are for.
Voodoo Child: Part 3: Somersault
Voodoo Child focuses on the Fall’s other “sidekick”, a cop who has taken a liking to the Fall’s brand of justice. The story is definitely building up to a boiling point, and this one serves the same purpose as many of the others in this book: to make the Fall human. The fall is showing compassion, more complex ideologies, and in this story he even shows the capacity to be embarrassed. This story is necessary in humanizing the fall, making him more relateable, without ruining the enigmatic personality.
What does Elvis Say TO YOU in the bathroom
This is also a sort of part two, featuring a pumpkin headed man from the previous comic who is also imitating the Fall. It shows the first of his imitators to take the call to “justice” seriously, not as a way to make the city better, but as a way of appeasing the notion of justice. And he is instantly unlikable for it. I look forward to seeing how the Fall deals with an imitator who is not inherently a good person.
Enemy of my Enemy
The fall takes on two groups of thugs at once! And wins! The art is fun and fast, and there is one panel with shattered glass that is very well done. It’s not deep, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s the Fall doing what the Fall does best. Not dealing with serial killers, not dealing with crazy attorneys, or his mentally unstable sidekicks. He’s dealing with simple bad guys who need a simple beating.
Some of the stories in this one are the best I’ve seen yet in the Fall. The art is fantastic, fun, and a blend of dark or cartoonish as is the mark of all Fall comics. It’s a fun read, and definitely a good addition to the burgeoning anti-hero’s universe.