by Curt Pires, Dalton Rose and Ryan Ferrier
In each of the four issues so far in Theremin, Curt Pires has played with convention, reality and rules of story telling. He also fits in some introspection throughout the books. It is risky and can create a lot of difficulty for the audience, but Pires has been largely successful in creating a very bold and unique book. With the latest issue, Pires again challenges those elements in a completely different way than before and the result is interesting, even if it is not completely successful.
In the last issue of Theremin, the scientist turned secret agent went up against a serious foe and as the issue came to a close, his fate looked quite bleak. In issue four, Pires doesn’t bring the audience back to this altercation. Instead, Pires inserts himself into the issue. At the start, issue four is less concerned with continuing the narrative and more focused on the author of the series. Pires and Rose have put on display the process of scripting the issue as the issue itself, and even then only to a certain degree.
Here, readers are introduced to Pires and his voice. The issue deals with roles and purpose and relationship but nothing terribly explicit. Audiences are given a window into the process. How that is handled is more experiential than informational, with some fascinating art by Rose. The climax of the chapter comes when Pires depicts his own moment of realization about the next step in the story, and possibly something deeper.
This type of exploration makes for some engaging content. The purpose for doing so and its role in the already established narrative of Theremin is not all that clear. Though Pires has never delivered an issue of this title in a way that was completely linear, this one strains the expectation of story the most. Readers may struggle to find purpose in this chapter. The problem is not in whether such an exercise was handled well. It is an interesting exercise, but the question becomes whether it serves a function in this series.
In some ways the question will relate to the sacrifice of story advancement for this content. Whether Pires has managed to explore interesting territory has the potential to be lost on individuals who instead are frustrated that little progressed, at least in the conventional assessment of story. Previously acknowledged, Pires has played with story structure and it is possible that this issue is not a betrayal of that approach. Reaction and satisfaction here more than anything so far will likely be highly individualized with few readers falling in the middle.
Even for those unfamiliar with the series, this is an issue worth picking up for the exposure to something unique and will be a great source for discussion.