Writer: Jeff Lemire / Artist: Andrea Sorrentino / Image Comics
One of the most fascinating things about Gideon Falls is that even in its slower moments, it still manages to interject a different set of urgency and terror into the story where even if it’s less of a system shock to the heart, it still manages to gnaw at your insides. The mid-point of the “Pentoculus” story arc slows down the rapid fire tempo that Lemire has had for the previous two issues of this event, but even with the subdued pacing, it still manages to deliver the quintessential horror moments that have defined the series and by the back half of the issue, manages to set up the stage for the last two issues of the arc.
Gideon Falls #19 starts with a traditional cold open, and Sorrentino, Stewart, and Wands do some absolutely incredible work with the art, colors, and lettering/design respectively. The opening pages make fantastic use of panels, the classic “Gideon Falls” font, and messing with all of the visual sensory information. When we turn back to the main storyline with Danny/Norton Sinclair and his father, their investigation into the forces involved in the Black Barn has a bit of a wind up given that the Doc was originally working with Father Fred.
Lemire’s layered and interwoven narrative creates such a strong story, and even with the slower than average start, Gideon Falls #19 manages to tantalize the reader with the promise of more horror and the determination of a handful of humans to stop something unsettling. It’s an epic mystery and just past of the midpoint of the book, manages to freak me out completely. The combined creative talents of the creative team create some of the most panic inducing panels of 2019 which anchors an issue that is keyed a little more on getting all of the players to their places. But that’s far from a critique. The fact remains is that Gideon Falls is gearing up for something truly terrifying and that’s saying a lot given its pedigree.
I really wish we could have seen the concluding issues of Gideon Falls‘ latest arc before the end of the year, but now I’m really hoping the timeline doesn’t fray too much so I can go into 2020 looking forward to parts 4 & 5. Lemire, Sorrentino, Stewart, and Wands have crafted a fascinating book and the fruits of their labor are plenty and apparent. If you’re not reading this in single issues, you may want to reconsider it and definitely want to plan on buying the trade. This is a tour de force of horror executed brilliantly, and leaves you… starving for more.
9.4 “Hunger Pangs” out of 10
Reading Gideon Falls? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.