For those who know Jeff Lemire’s work, you are familiar with the many tales spun from small towns. These stories often infuse some supernatural elements – think Royal City, Plutona, and The Nobody. He has also done work for both DC and Marvel – recently Hawkman Found and Thanos. And he has taken us on adventures through time and space in Trillium and Descender. His writing is crisp and full of heart. It keeps us guessing and gives us just enough answers.
I was given the amazing opportunity to read an advance copy of Gideon Falls, Image’s upcoming horror series due out this spring.
Gideon Falls, Lemire teams up with fantastic artist Andrea Sorrentino, with whom he recently finished a great long run on Old Man Logan. In this remarkable first issue, we follow two individuals, both apparently holding more than a couple secrets. In one storyline we return to a small town whose local priest mysteriously passed away. In the other, we find ourselves following an especially mysterious individual in a much more urban setting. As their stories begin to unfold, we have the sense that all is not well. As this review is spoiler-free, not much more can or will be said about what transpires, however, this first issue definitely brings more mystery and intrigue than answers. Our two main characters, seemingly on separate paths will almost assuredly find that they’re destined to converge, to what end is anyone’s guess.
Sorrentino’s artwork is exceptional, as always. Both the rural town of Gideon Falls and the city are grungy and worn, showing abundant opportunity to reveal to us more, but just a little extra. The paneling itself tells a story, similar to the memorable work done during The Last Ronin arc on Old Man Logan. The texture used heightens the feeling of unease throughout the entirety of the book. A memorable image is that of the man leaned up on the school bus as the priest enters the town. It isn’t that any of it is out of place until the man greets the priest with a smile that is all but welcoming. It is a grin of knowing. Something that surely Lemire and Sorrentino can relate to as we, the reader, find ourselves lost awe in Gideon Falls.
The chilling feeling of not knowing is further exacerbated by Dave Stewart’s coloring choices. The majority of the book is in muted earth and grey tones, highlighting the desolation of both the city and rural settings we find our characters in. However, with splashes of red, the sense of danger is foreshadowed until one particular panel… All is not well.
It is hard to fathom how Jeff Lemire, on the heels of winning the Eisner award for Best New Series with Black Hammer, can continue to churn out hit after hit. He is currently working on writing Descender, Black Hammer (and it’s spin-offs), writing and doing the art for Royal City, and returning to DC with The Terrifics. All of these titles are excellent and should be celebrated in their own right. With Gideon Falls, Jeff Lemire brings a new genre to his repertoire in a fashion that only he and Andrea Sorrentino could. My only qualm is that I now have to wait 4 months to read the second issue.
Be sure to pick up Gideon Falls #1, published by Image Comics, on March 7th, 2018! And an extraordinarily large thank you to Jeff Lemire for allowing me to read such an outstanding comic in advance. You can find Jeff on Twitter and Instagram
You can pre-order your copy at Amazon or check out your local comic shop and have them hold a copy today. These may go quick!