Low Road West #3 Review

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The gang have been split in two, with Amir going through a diary from 1875 he’s found in the spooky Hollow House, his friends have a confrontation with a menacing group of armed me intent on finding Amir, so he can pay for the sins of his dead brother.  All that and Emma facing alien strangeness in Copper Sky feature in Low Road West #3.

Low Road West #3 ReviewLOW ROAD WEST #3

Writer:  Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Illustrator: Flaviano
Colorist:  Miquel Muerto
Letterer:  Jim Campbell
Editor: Eric Harburn
Publisher:  BOOM! Studios
Release Date:  November 21st, 2018
Price:  $3.99

Previously in Low Road West: The Big One has dropped on the US East Coast and all roads lead west to escape the fallout.  With their bus disabled in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, the disparate group of friends finds themselves literally in a strange land.  Amir Bahmani, whose brother Ahmed’s treason led to the nuclear war, reads a haunted diary.  Amir’s sister finds herself in an alien landscape the diary calls Copper Sky.  And everyone else is menaced by a gang of armed thugs, intent on finding Amir and making him pay for his brother’s treason…

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR

Low Road West #3 continues this series’ journey into strangeness.  Of course, a limited nuclear war that devastates the East Coast of America is the opening salvo in a world of strangeness, but things get seriously weird in this issue.  With their bus disabled, the refugees seeking safety in the West find themselves divided and lost, each confronting different menaces in a world going increasingly awry.

Amir, still dealing with his brother’s betrayal of his country and separated from the other kids, has entered the Hollow House, a seriously spooking looking dwelling in Custer’s Wake.  Inside, he finds a diary from 1875, written by a man named Abraham, chronicling the evil deeds of Tom Custer, aka The Thin Man.  The story morphs from Amir reading the diary entries to the audience, to the actual writer of the diary addressing Amir through the pages of the book.

Outside, Shawn, Angela and the other teens are confronted by a group of armed deserters while searching for supply in Custer’s Wake, a ghost town.  And Emma, searching for her brother Ben, who may or may not have mysterious powers of his own, finds herself fleeing across a nightmare alien landscape, where the creatures she comes across aren’t as terrifying as she first thinks,  However, their revelations about her and her friends turns out to be deeply puzzling and a portent of things to come.

Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson has taken a number of disparate tropes – nuclear apocalypse, supernatural thriller, and aliens – and done the seemingly impossible, melding them together into a fascinating whole.  Only a really talented writer can juggle elements as different as these and make them cohere in the limited pages available.  There are three different strands running through Low Road West #3, and Johnson never sells any of them short, giving each of the characters a chance to shine.  What begins as a road trip across a broken America, swiftly descends into an eerie mystery populated by a compelling cast of young characters facing demons within and without.

ARTFULLY RENDERED

Artist Flaviano (your reviewer would love to have as exotic a name!) is the real hero of the Low Road West #3, working in concert with colorist Miquel Meurto.  There are three different stories in this issue, and each is given its own character by the ability of both.  The flashback of Amir’s strand is rendered in cold, stark tones as the evil of Tom Custer leaps from the pages of the diary.  The alien landscape of Copper Sky is particularly appealing, as it brought to vivid life with sharply contrasting colors that immediately indicate to the reader that Emma isn’t in Kansas anymore.  And the art for the strand in the here and now artfully conveys a time and place that history has left broken and forgotten, while not stinting on the brutality the deserters are itching to break out.

BOTTOM LINE – BALANCING ACT DONE WELL

What would otherwise be a series of tired tropes is brought to life in the skillful hands of Phillip Johnson, who advances the plot while revealing new mysteries to be fathomed.  Low Road West #3 continues the momentum of the earlier issues, presenting each of the characters in a moment of tension that reveals their characters, as all good drama should.  I really loved the art, particularly the alien sequences which popped off the page and brought a real vibrancy and life to the book.  Low Road West #3 and the series as a whole are definitely worth your time.

Low Road West #3

70%
70%
A Balancing Act Well Done

What would otherwise be a series of tired tropes is brought to life in the skillful hands of Phillip Johnson, who advances the plot while revealing new mysteries to be fathomed. Low Road West #3 continues the momentum of the earlier issues, presenting each of the characters in a moment of tension that reveals their characters, as all good drama should. I really loved the art, particularly the alien sequences which popped off the page and brought a real vibrancy and life to the book. Low Road West #3 and the series as a whole are definitely worth your time.

  • Writing
    6
  • Art
    8
  • Coloring
    7
  • User Ratings (0 Votes)
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About Author

Romantic. Raconteur. Kangaroo rustler. Sadly, Rob is none of these. Rob has been a follower of genre since at least the mid-1970s. Book collector, Doctor Who fan, semi-retired podcaster, comic book shop counter jockey, writer (once!) in Doctor Who Magazine and with pretensions to writing fantasy and horror, Rob is the sort of fellow you can happily embrace while wondering why you're doing it. More of his maudlin thoughts can be found at his ill-tended blog https://robertmammone.wordpress.com/

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