Writer: Jeff Lemire / Artist: Andrea Sorrentino / Image Comics
Gideon Falls is three issues in, and it is easily the most riveting story I’ve read in 2018 to date. Mark my words, this title will become the benchmark for psychological thrillers and religious-inspired horror stories for years to come. Lemire and Sorrentino are constantly outdoing themselves and every moment is masterfully, meticulously crafted.
Father Quinn is currently trying to prepare for his first homily (sermon) while dealing with a horrible case of writer’s block brought about being under investigation for murder and being haunted by the enigmatic Black Barn.
In the usual parallel structure, Norton is also under a lot of stress and has become even more paranoid after his apartment was broken into and his research on the Black Barn has been stolen and he knows that his struggles are just beginning. This suspicion is quickly confirmed when Dr. Xu makes a house call and reveals that she too has seen the eldritch location.
The two storylines are largely independent of each other but still partake in a haunting conversation. Sorrentino’s artwork matched with Stewart’s color continue to be breathtaking moments. Details are highlighted in unnerving ways. Panel compositions make innovative use of geometry and boundary lines to entice the eye. The color red continues to be extremely distressing, and I will likely continue making that point because gotdamnit, the high contrast hue is so striking against the typically subdued tones of Gideon Falls, and it highlights the amazing visual design of the series.
And Lemire’s dialog continues to be spot-on to this lapsed Catholic. The interactions Father Quinn has with his procession are so intimately familiar and capture the essences of a Sunday morning Mass. Meanwhile, Norton and Dr. Xu discussing their shared visions of the Black Barn epitomize the core of every great psychological thriller: is any of this real? If it is real, what else about my perception of my world do I have to reconsider?
Gideon Falls is slowly piecing itself together as one of the greatest horror mysteries of the decade thanks to the combined efforts of a staggeringly magnificent creative team, and I cannot laud the series enough.
9.5 “Faller of Trees” out of 10
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