by Ales Kot, Matt Taylor, Jordie Bellaire & Clayton Cowles
Right from the beginning, this issue stands apart from the series so far. Ales Kot has managed to open Zero in unique and engaging ways almost every time. Here, with issue #7, Kot does so in a way that makes the reader’s mind race. It’s sparse, and subdued and fantastic. Issue seven is a game changer, and Kot continues to put out one of the most fascinating books currently in publication.
After the incredibly bombastic closing of issue six, with the reveal of Ginsberg Nova’s true identity and the circumstances that surrounded this ending, the opening of issue seven is almost a polar opposite. Once again, the the story jumps forward a few months as well as changes the location of the events. Now in Mexico, Zero and Zizek commute together as Zizek reflects on the beach and the natural draw a human being feels towards it. It is a curious exchange, especially considering the unexplained and seemingly unconnected sequences that introduce the book. All the while, Matt Taylor’s art direction for the issue carries readers through. Unlike the last few issues, the majority of this issue is filled with conversations. Taylor, though, manages to make every moment feel kinetic, moving about and choosing very interesting panel perspectives amidst the conversation.
The two come upon a large home, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, and readers still have been give no context to the events that are transpiring. Kot is able to script the issue in a way that has very little occurring, and the conversations that transpire are either vague or completely unconnected. It presents a really great scenario for the reader and it is oddly more engaging than it would seem possible. The few moments in the issue that register above baseline are abrupt and distinct. The near-monotony of this chapter functions as a perfect counterweight to those few spikes.
There is certainly a fine line that is played with here in terms of opacity. At times, writers can get overzealous in how much they are teasing and concealing and suddenly the script is a series of random puzzle pieces that winds up mostly frustrating the reader. Kot never crosses into this territory, and yet readers begin and end the issue completely in the dark. Taylor is an excellent choice for the issue as his panel work and pencil work handle the script incredibly well. Issue #7 of Zero is another excellent installment in the series.