by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa
Christopher Sebela opens this fifth issue of High Crimes by recapping, in a sense, just where the story’s lead is mentally before diving back into the story. The path that Zan has gone down in just a few issues is a drastic one. That is not to say that the story does not add up. Instead, the situation has gone downhill incredibly quickly because of the circumstances surrounding her discovery. As a result, the story has had little time to let its audience catch their breath and take a look around. A decent bit of this issue focuses on that specifically, and it is a great reestablishment before taking off at a sprint again.
Zan has made her way to base camp in pursuit of, if not to beat out members of The Agency in an attempt at recovering the body and belongings of Sullivan Mars. Her previous colleague and friend Haskell has been taken by this group so that he may lead them to the summit first. Sebela layers on here how the climb serves the same purpose of rejuvenation and new life for both Mars and Zan. The underlying sense of fate that drives these two stories together is well-crafted throughout the series and continues through the fifth issue.
Moustafa has some great moments here, as well. The overlaying of conversations while using the space to show establishing shots of the camp grounds, its people and atmosphere is a technique that Moustafa uses several times in the issue. It allows there to be no time wasted in communicating everything necessary about both the characters and the environment. Later, when Zan beings to venture up Everest, a vertical climb is depicted in a horizontal panel and it is a decision that is eye catching and an interesting one at that. The emoting by the characters continues to do justice to the varying situations to communicate as much to the reader as they might experience interacting with another person directly.
There is a lot of tragedy put into place in this issue. As the pieces begin to move together, the fate of all involved appears ever grimmer. Between knowing the outcome of Mars and the acknowledgement of her likely demise by Zan, watching the players continue forth only deepens the Shakespearean effect at play. Zan is at her strongest in voice and action in this issue, and her final act prior to leaving base camp is a fantastic summation of her persona. Sebela has crafted a memorable character in Zan, and her ideals, though not historically morale, shine here. Crimes is one of the best stories in the digital market right now.