by James Roberts (Writer), Alex Milne (Artist), Josh Burcham (Colorist)
The Story: Tyrest gets what he deserves, secrets are revealed and the fate of Tailgate and the rest of the Lost Light is shown.
The Review: People who read the MTMTE reviews I write can usually see me showering this title with many positive comments, praising it’s ingenuity and what it accomplishes. Skeptics might see it as merely as a way to sell them on a book that perhaps only a few might really enjoy, yet this series has been a real joy to read and discover from start to finish. As James Roberts closes up many of its plot threads and give a certain amount of conclusion to the development of several characters, this issue shows exactly why this title has been a shining exemplar of long-form storytelling.
While this issue clearly isn’t exactly a fine example of being reader-friendly, Roberts manage to direct his characters and conflicts from point A to B without breaking the pacing or the narrative flow of his issue, which is remarkable considering the high number of them he had in play. Pharma’s fate, Tyrest and his desire to kill to those who were constructed cold, Skids and his identity problems, Tailgate and his cybercrosis, everything gets resolved as Roberts also manage to surprise the readers by showering the readers a lot of various elements.
However, not all of these elements are equally interesting, as the character of Cyclonus, Rodimus, Tailgate and another one who I shall not reveal really do steal the spotlight. While the other elements are nonetheless captivating, there are many character defining moments attributed to them that really makes them the more fascinating aspects of this month’s issue. The amount of humanity that those characters possess is nothing short of astounding, as Tailgate gets even closer to death by cybercrosis, with Cyclonus being the unfortunate one that has to see his close friend nearing his demise.* There is something in how each character reach a certain step in their evolution in this issue that shows that the seed planted in the 20 previous issues have bloomed, resulting in something quite satisfying for long-time readers.
What might be less appealing for some, though, is how everything seems to be utterly optimistic, as much of what happens here seems to be too good to be true. While it has somewhat become a staple of the industry to show a lot of darkness in some moments and to try to humanize or lessen the blow with moments of hope, Roberts here lets the hope and joy flow in the ending and to how things get resolved. Still, while one of those situations conclude with what some could summarize as a deus ex machina, almost all of them are due to careful planning from the writer, which makes them all the more better. There’s nothing wrong with a good deal of happiness, which is what James Roberts give to his readers. There is some big action and some dark moments here and there, yet the stunningly happy ending to many threads do seem not only justified but pleasant to the readers. Those who were fans are likely to feel very rewarded with this issue, that’s for sure.
Another part of this rewarding feeling could very well come from the work of Alex Milne, who does some very potent and precise work here. As always, he is able to convey the right emotions, he manages to design alien technology that is believable but also neat-looking and his work really has a whole load of details that allow the whole sci-fi tones to be felt throughout the issue. While some of the panels are especially busy, Milne show some important restraint in others as he allows the action and the characters to become the center piece, which is a smart choice. Most of the excellent pacing is also due to him, as the panelling allows for each moments to gets enough spotlight without make the jump between each scenes seems forced. Simply put, Alex Milne is really strong here, which is the par for this series so far.
However, Josh Burcham really brings his A-game to his issue, as the colorization is especially rich and diverse. Working perfectly with the script, the emotions that are brought to the page are immensely enhanced thanks to his subtle work in the background and on the characters themselves. The low lighting and the focus on clearer details on the characters in the Cyclonus and Tailgate scene really do put the focus on the right place, as does the ominous background colors with the scenes featuring Whirl, Cyclonus and Star Saber. The alien energy, the action and some of the more down-to-Earth moment would be much less effective without Burcham, which makes his work on this issue that more important.
The Conclusion: Emotional, impressive and downright satisfying, this issue of MTMTE really shows that James Roberts, Alex Milne and Josh Burcham truly knows their stuff when it comes to exciting and fun comics. Here’s hoping they stay for as long as they can on this title.
Hugo Robberts Larivière
*While this practice is usually frowned upon by many fans of pretty much any piece of fiction, I do believe there may be something between Cyclonus and Tailgate. It may mean I am developing a bad case of shipping, but Conjux endura, perhaps?