By: Mike Carey & Peter Gross (creators/script/art), Chris Chuckry (colors) & Todd Klein (letters)
The Story: Tom Taylor finally gets to talk to his long-lost father and Lizzie Hexam goes to her Dickensian home.
What’s Good: After being a central character in The Unwritten, it was nice to finally see Wilson Taylor. Seriously, one of the great questions of this comic has been the location and nature of Wilson. So, when Wilson shows up to confirm what we’d already suspected (that Tom is, in fact, the Tommy Taylor from the novels and that Lizzie and Savoy are his sidekicks) it provides some closure to an open plot thread. Of course, in Unwritten fashion, it opens some other mysteries. Namely, if Lizzie and Savoy are supposed to be Tommy’s sidekicks, why is Lizzie from a Dickens novel and not just the Hermione-like character from Tommy Taylor? Ditto for Savoy?
The general pacing of The Unwritten is really good. You can just tell that Carey and Gross have a story to tell here. I’d guess that it is probably about 30 issues long, but it is crystal clear that they aren’t making it up as they go along, nor are they milking it.
To me, the most interesting revelation of this issue was seeing what happens to Lizzie when she returns to her home in the novel. When she comes face-to-face with the “real” Lizzie Hexam she basically passes out and I get the impression that if this were time travel, we would say she has created a paradox like what would happen if you went back in time and killed your own parents.
What’s Not So Good: I was a little annoyed by the nonsensical jabbering coming out of Wilson Taylor’s mouth. Given that we’ve waited for this dude to show up for 16 issues, he sure wasted a LOT of time with weird double talk. And since he is now dead, I don’t guess we’re going to get any more answers out of him when he clearly knew everything that is going on. Honestly, this is the first time that my brain screamed “plot device” while reading this series.
I also wasn’t sure what was going on with Pullman, his magic hand of death and Wilson’s head, but I found it a little corny that all this weird essence of words came spilling out of the head and apparently gave Tom magical powers. Was that blood? This could improve, but I really didn’t enjoy this ending at all.
Conclusion: This is still a good series, but I felt a lot of anticlimax after reading this issue. On the other hand, it is still about as intelligently written and drawn as any comic on the market and that makes it hard for the issue to stink too badly.
– Dean Stell