The second Days Missing mini-series continues, this time a little closer to home. What will The Steward find on the eve of the 21st Century? Find out after the jump!
DAYS MISSING: KESTUS #4 (of 5)
Writer: Phil Hester
Artist: David Marquez
Colourist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Cover Artist: David Mack
Editor: Paul Morrissey
Previously, in Days Missing: The Steward is a time-traveling being who observes and guides humanity. With the ability to ‘fold’ days out of existence, he works to save the human race from history-altering disasters. An opposition has recently reared its head in the form of Kestus, an immortal woman who remembers the ‘folded’ days and works to combat The Steward, believing humanity to not be worth saving. However, in their last encounter The Steward made some progress in changing her mind.
A Good Premise, with Mixed Execution
In this issue, The Steward arrives just as New Years Day, January 1st 2000, begins, to find that the USA has been hit by an attack designed to play off the Y2K fear. Working with Kestus, who has now resolved to help humanity rather than hinder it, the culprit is tracked down: a broken-hearted ex-scientist. After some trials and tribulations, the attack is prevented and The Steward and Kestus share a kiss.
I really enjoyed the premise of this issue – throughout this mini-series Kestus has gone from an unknown to an adversary and, now, undergoing a transformation into an ally. It feels satisfying to watch the two characters work together, and indeed do more than that by the end of the issue, after watching them meet and interact in this mini-series thus far. What’s more, during the issue we get some flashbacks to other times that The Steward and Kestus have met each other, in locations and periods that we have not seen previously; this gives us the impression that the stories we have seen thus far are only a fraction of what has taken place, and I like the idea that there is a larger picture than we have previously seen.
It is a pity, then, that the actual meat-and-bones plot of the issue is a bit weak. The villain is simply some guy who has decided that, ‘Human civilization is evil and must be ended!’ Then Kestus mentions something about a girl that broke his heart, which comes from nowhere and has no effect on the plot. It could be argued that the issue is really about The Steward and Kestus – which I would agree with – and so the villain is more just a story-telling device rather than the focus of the story, but I would have liked to have seen an adversary with more than one dimension, especially since the adversary for the last three issues has been Kestus who has been getting deeper with each issue. However, I did enjoy the conclusion, where The Steward traps the villain inside a pocket of time, essentially killing him, an act that effectively demonstrates that The Steward is willing to go to any lengths to protect humanity, and to save Kestus., showing his deepening feelings for her.
There is also a second feature in this book, ‘The First Fold.’ This short story has been serialized throughout this mini-series, with about two pages appearing per issue. At three pages of this book, it’s barely worth commenting on, as one really has to have read the other issues for the pages to carry and weight, so suffice it to say that they are of reasonable quality, but are pretty meaningless without the other parts.
Consistently Good Art
The art in this issue was good throughout, but lacked any stand-out moments – this is, of course, not a great criticism, we cannot expect every book to ‘wow’ us page by page, and Marquez consistently portrays a variety of different characters and situations to a high standard. I particularly enjoyed the flashback sequences, in which Marquez subtly captures a different feel from the rest of the book, particularly in the clothes of the characters, which is not something we often see. The page in wich The Steward transports the villain into a pocket of time is also very well done, and I also enjoyed the facial expressions of the characters, which were well-drawn and expressive.
The cover is less impressive, however, displaying The Steward, sort of looking like he’s made up of some sort of white energy, or, at least, that is what I take away from it. It does little to hint at the events of the book, apart from the showing ‘Y2K’ and ‘2000’ in the background, and I feel that the colour scheme is too neutral to be able to stand out on the rack. This is a disappointing one, especially as the rest of the series has managed to show us some rather good covers thus far.
A Good Installment
Overall, this issue is a great installment in what, for me, has been a very enjoyable series. However, I can’t help but feel that some of what makes it great – the evolving relationship between The Steward and Kestus – will be lost if one has not already read the rest of the series. Not a great jumping-on point, then, but it impressed me enough to award it three and a half stars out of five.