Writer: Matthew Erman / Artist: Lisa Sterle / Scout Comics
This marks the penultimate issue of Long Lost: Piper and Frances make their way together through the woods that’s dark and deep with secrets to keep to the strange mountain that looms over Hazel Patch, the place of their birth.
From the first few pages, there are bodies, bodies everywhere and not a grave to be found. And when the sisters get to the entrance of the mountain, I wanted to sing the chorus to the Drowning Pool song Bodies, as the two stand in the moment realizing more and more that they are so out of their depth here; that this place has claimed more lives than they originally thought. Francis, barefoot and traumatized, is attempting to look on the bright side as she’s trying to process this, yet she does make a terrific point.
What works so well is having the girls hold hands, standing at the entrance of the cave, silhouetted by the blackness of the darkness that lies within. Piper admits that she’s not quite sure that things will be great; however, in the next panel, she declares that she wants her power back, and she wants change. Erman is penning her to claim back her agency and wanting to finally part ways with this God forsaken, actual toxic, place full of bad memories and murderous intent. The plan is to move forward and end things by way of sealing the door or portal or whatever and go back home. The sisters embrace, and it is such a heartfelt moment to lay eyes on because the next pages are a trip with some narration in the form of prose and a whole lot of dark imagery until the girls find their new guides.
The girls’ new guides add some innocence and a moment to breathe which quickly returns to horror as I should have expected but lo and behold! The creative team has heard my prayers (or my passive aggressive tweets like the one below), and we see a reemergence of Pockets and I couldn’t be happier!
“Brb. Crying over Pockets. I feel like I’ve locked myself in a room. Doing 5 beats a day for 3 summers to keep from tweeting the creative team every issue about this damn dog.” (Looking at you
— Black Nerd Problems (@BlkNrdProblems) October 1, 2018
After the girls fall ONCE AGAIN into danger, they walk to the place of final judgment with some hooded, cloaked individuals and some other familiar faces. Sterle sets the mood with a pinch of red coloring her art as the body horror goes straight back up to ten. This issue may very well be the most over the top as I can’t see where more bodies end and the supernatural starts, but I couldn’t look away. The sisters learn that they are here to pass judgment on
not Auntie Johana, the imposter, and that some version of their Mother is trapped here, not herself. Instead of being pawns in whatever God awful plan this is, Francis asserts herself by asking the questions that they always wanted answers to and then forgiving their mother for what she was responsible for and perhaps to some extent–what she wasn’t.
This issue ends with a shock to the system with some great paneling and coloring from Sterle of Francis, now even more determined and on a mission with the final page–a gorgeous one to look upon no matter how heart wrenching it is.
9 Belated Birthday Wishes Out Of 10
Reading Long Lost? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.
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