By: Terry Moore (writer/artist/letters)

The Story: Rachel and Jet try to save Aunt Johnny while preparing for the showdown with Lillith.

Review (with SPOILERS): This was an interesting issue of Rachel Rising because we very quickly find ourselves heading toward a climax with a showdown between Lillith and Rachel.  It’s odd because the series was being very, very methodical during the “Act 2” phase of the story.  It just seemed like things were taking forever to come to a boil, then WHAM…..Rachel and Jet are plowing through the snow in a VW bus toward a showdown with Lillith.  In some ways, it made me wonder if Rachel Rising might only be a ~30 issue series because suddenly I feel like the end might be upon us before we know it.

In some ways, that wouldn’t be a bad thing.  I’ve enjoyed Rachel Rising, but I’m also eager to see the conclusion.  I’m also eager to see whatever story is percolating in the mind of Terry Moore after Rachel Rising gets finished.

On the other hand, there are some other elements of the story that are still much farther from resolution such as the struggle to reanimate Aunt Johnny and whatever creepy necrophilia Dr. Siemen is into.  How horrible for Johnny!  I mean, she is a lesbian in life and now her dead body is going to be violated by creepy Dr. Siemen.  Yuck, yuck, double yuck.

To some extent, this represents the dichotomy of the book.  I enjoy both the Rachel/Jet/Lillith/Zoe story and the Aunt Johnny/Dr. Siemen/Earl story.  I just don’t really understand what they have to do with each other.  I enjoy Rachel Rising, but I also want it to get to where it is headed.  It’s time….and I don’t want to see the story linger too much longer and find myself souring on such an excellent title just because it won’t wrap up.

All of the hallmarks of Rachel Rising are present in this issue, but the cornerstone of its excellence is always the wonderful art and believable dialog.  When Rachel backs Zoe down, it just sounds exactly like something you could imagine a real person saying.  That sounds trite, but how often to you read a line of dialog in Batman or Avengers and think, “No normal person would ever speak this way.”  Terry Moore just has an incredible gift for the dialog of young women.  He must have grown up with sisters or something (or maybe he watches a lot of shows on the CW).  What’s more is that he matches his dialog with the art. He’s just a master of facial expression.

Conclusion: Some signs that we might be headed for a climax in the story.  That’s welcome because I think it’s time to begin Act 3 of the tale.

Grade: A-

-Dean Stell