by Jon Tsuei, Eric Canete, Leonardo Olea
After all of the chaos of the past few issues as Rain makes a desperate effort to escape the city and the Origami, the past issue left readers wondering if it was all over. The story from Jon Tsuei and Eric Canete has been full throttle from the very start, and only in brief moments has it felt close to letting up. The book reaches its halfway point this month, and the fourth issue manages to once more press forward while elegantly filling in the past.
Here, the story opens to find Rain in her home. She appears much younger and she is depicted playing music. Readers have seen this before as glimpses are shown during an earlier sequence cut in between the action. The focus remains on this moment scene, here, as the home of Rain is raided. It’s an effective sequence that diverts only slightly, before diving back into the present. From there, it is an all out sprint over the rest of the issue. It is a testament to the creative team that this escape has transpired over issues now, and each turn of the page feels as exciting as the first. Rain also displays a new ability here that might start to give readers a bit more of a nod as to why she has been sought out since she was much younger. Suddenly, there is a whole new layer to the book and its protagonist. Writers Jon Tsuei and Eric Canete find these small but impactful ways to raise the intrigue and stakes in each issue.
The strange technology of the world continues to be worked into the story effortlessly. The book has never taken time to orient readers to the state of things and the setting. Instead, Tsuei and Canete present the world and all of its new elements as they would unfold and factor into the plot. The fourth issue is no different, as brand new technology and abilities are on display as the chase for Rain spreads across the city. Tsuei and Canete have found a way to never distract the reader with the sudden introduction of unfamiliar technology or weaponry. The story manages to unfold naturally, while building in so much about this universe. Tsuei and Canete are able to convey through these subtle techniques so much detail, the state of society and Rain’s motivations. The thrust forward never needs to lessen to make room for these things. And yet, a story so focused on the present threat doesn’t ignore the importance of all of these added pieces. RunLoveKill avoids simplicity through the careful approach to the script and the result is a rather enriching experience.
Eric Canete’s art along with fantastic coloring by Leonardo Olea are a major part of the energy behind this story. There is something incredibly effective about the way in which the visuals of the book are created. Canete’s paneling, shifting the number of panels, their arrangement on the page, and perspectives used throughout this prolonged chase all manage to evoke such visceral emotion. There is an urgency to each moment that Canete is able to capture. Olea’s coloring adds a real flare. Shifting the color palette, scenes are more potent in their emotional weight. The overlay of red for shots of the Origami inside of their mechanical dog transports not only orient readers, but also carry a tone of aggression. The artists work combine to capture the exact mood necessary to pair with the script of this book.
Ultimately, the final moments of the issue bring both a serious thrill and disappointment. The midway point of the story is also the breaking point in the release schedule for the book. RunLoveKill #4 has shown no sense of wavering in the skill and care taken on these first four chapters. So, while it is hard to have to wait for the next issue, it is only so because of the high quality of this arc. Readers will likely be eagerly awaiting the second half of the series.