by Curt Pires, David Rubin, Michael Garland
The Fiction has been a mysterious, grand adventure from the very beginning. Pires, Rubin and Garland bring readers into this incredible world one final time as the miniseries reaches its end this month. With Tyler, Max and Kassie facing Tsang and the Corruption, this last issue certainly has a lot of promise. And while it is filled with great moments in writing and art, the issue’s vague finale may leave readers more confused than satisfied.
The issue brings readers right back into the fold as Kassie works to try to adjust the story and find a way to escape the powers of Tsang. However, the Corruption has taken control of Tsang and despite Kassie’s efforts, the three are unable to escape. Rubin and Garland put on a show through their artwork here. As the trio move through spaces, Tsang follows behind. The way in which this progression is depicted is quite impressive. Tsang walks across panels to reach the escaping trio, looking completely unfazed by their efforts. Later, the book shifts gears as the real Tsang has a brief moment shining through the Corruption. It is heartbreaking to witness. And while moments like this exist in other stories, Pires takes a slightly different approach to the sequence and manages to evoke a real reaction. With the information gleaned from Tsang last issue about what made him stay in the world and accept the Corruption, his current position is all the more tragic.
On the surface, the set up for this issue put the story in a great place to deliver on its numerous mysteries. Just what are these two entities that have been popping up over the course of the four issues? What role do these four play and what are the implications of their actions? At one point there were even teases about the parents having some involvement with this world. For as grand as the story had seemed, Pires does not spend any real time addressing the mysteries of the universe. Tsang admits the motivation behind luring in the other three, and the goal of the Corruption, but readers are left with a conclusion that does not quite offer a real resolution to those ideas. Even with two epilogues, the book seems to skirt some of its questions. Pires, who is great at writing surreal and fantastical storylines, is possibly making a choice here, leaving pieces unconnected, or crafting and ending that might just be a bit too cerebral to follow. Additionally, despite this conclusion, the story still holds up and the miniseries is still an excellent read.
It is a credit to a creative team to craft a narrative that has so many maddening concepts and vast universes that readers want to know about every aspect and crave more upon its conclusion. Pires, with Rubin and Garland have certainly accomplished that task with The Fiction and this short series is likely to warrant multiple reads. While the final chapter does not quite provide all that readers may hope for, it is still a solid issue with many great moments.