"Gideon Falls #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino
Colored by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Steve Wands
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 16th, 2018
The dual storylines of Gideon Falls begin to converge with this issue. Norton's paranoia is taken to new heights after his apartment is broken into. His quest to learn more about the mysterious Black Barn has consumed his life and now he's forced to take steps to protect his collection and himself. Meanwhile, Fred learns of the Black Barn in a most unusual way after he begins to unravel the reasons why his predecessor may have left the local church.
Writer Jeff Lemire keeps both of these arcs moving at a steady pace, pulling you deeper with each passing moment. We don't know all the details just yet and that's totally fine, as the character development more than makes up for it. It's tough to pick a favorite between the two leads, as they're both such interesting and flawed people.
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Let's start with Norton. He sets up a number of traps in his home, like something out of a more sinister version of Home Alone. We're talking jars of acid and shards of glass. Artist Andrea Sorrentino shows this in a gorgeous double-page spread, highlighting each of the dangers in a circle with additional detail. Norton sits alone on the floor, comforted by the deadly contraptions he's surrounded himself with. Based on the sparse decorations and rough shape of his apartment, you can learn a lot about his life.
Colorist Dave Stewart highlights each of the traps Norton has set with a brilliant red. They look like targets popping off the page to show the lengths this man will go to in order to protect himself from the dangers only he can see coming.
Back in the small town of Gideon Falls, Fred is getting settled in to his new parish and delivers his first sermon. While Norton is fascinating, like watching a train wreck, Fred pulls you in to his damage. I'm dying to learn more about him because he just seems so broken. He's supposed to guide the people here but he can't even find the path himself. It makes for a very compelling character.
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He gets a similar page full of circles when he finds some files left by his predecessor. Sorrentino and Stewart deliver a similar impact with this layout that conveys the importance of this new information. This leads to a double-page spread that tops them all to close out the comic, with smaller panels carving themselves into the main image like broken shards of glass. This is some top-notch art direction that is second to none on the comic stands right now.
Gideon Falls has been a slow burn, albeit a very satisfying one. Every page turn is filled with dread as we gradually unravel the mystery that connects these two men. I'm eagerly anticipating their meeting and more importantly, what will finally pull them together. On the surface, they couldn't be farther apart, so what about this peculiar Black Barn will link them?