Writer: Jeff Lemire / Artist: Andrea Sorrentino / Image Comics
Gideon Falls #8 marks a notable moment in Lemire’s narrative. Thus far, the story has focused on the present lives of Norton Sinclair and Father Fred as they perform parallel investigations on the enigmatic Black Barn. They have experienced very different kinds of horror on their journeys and have made an ally or two along the way, but despite their common goal, their path seems distinct, separate. Gideon Falls #8 adjusts the rails ever so slightly by giving us a clearer glimpse into Norton’s past and gently nudging the two storylines together.
Lemire has always interconnected the two narratives thematically, and the opening act of Norton in a very Catholic looking school leading into Father Fred’s sermon on trauma is a stellar example of the layered work that he does. As a lapsed Catholic myself, these two anecdotes feel very true to life although bolstered by the malintent of the inhabitants of the Black Barn. I’d be remiss if I didn’t take time to also point out Stewart’s colors are still top notch and Sorrentino’s artwork creates this brilliant horror movie aesthetic, mixed in with some genius paneling. Sub-panels rotated to create a sense of unease, different formats to convey different paces, and just stunning depictions of very tired, very exasperated humans.
Gideon Falls is a title that constantly makes you second guess your readings and preconceptions of what is happening. This issue centers less on the Black Barn, although it’s malignant influences can very clearly be felt, and is more focused on Father Fred and Norton rediscovering a new status quo now that they have started to process the depth of evil that is accosting them. Their distaff counterparts, in the forms of Detective Clara and Dr. Xu, continue to grow in prominence with each passing chapter, and their active, continually growing participation in the second arc is a welcomed wrinkle to the male dominant first arc.
There is nothing quite like this comic on the market. The magnificent slow burn of the narrative compounded with the riveting art creates a stunning horror story and if you’re a fan of your heart racing, I really must implore you to read this series immediately.
9.3 “Killer Smiles” out of 10
Reading Gideon Falls? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.
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