by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Gabo
Establishing that something in this series is strange or unexpected is a bit par the course at this point in The Life After. Fialkov and Gabo have created a very interesting series that not only deals with some big concepts, but has taken this tale in a number of unusual ways. After a big finish last time, the series keeps pushing the boundaries here, filling in even more of the world.
World building, in fact, has been one of the most compelling elements of The Life After from the very beginning. Fialkov has found a way to expand on or reveal small elements each time, never derailing momentum from the plot. After introducing readers to the moment the afterlife adopted a computer-based model last issue, this issue includes a bit about the time before the seraphim, when Ometochtli was quite young. This is how the book opens and it is a very strange sequence that does shed a bit of light on how things used to be in this world, as well as how drastically and dramatically they shifted.
One thing that has remained constant throughout this entire book is Fialkov’s restrain on his reveals. After seven issues, the book has still managed to offer very little about a number of elements surrounding the story and its characters. Though Jude is the book’s protagonist, there is still almost nothing known about who he used to be or what exactly he is able to do with his powers. It is with such an approach that The Life After is able to feel simultaneously massive and very much in its infancy at the same time. It is an exciting sensation, recognizing just how much still lies ahead and how much the creative team can do as the series progresses.
While Jude and Hemingway are escorted by a band of ninjas through a tunnel, Nettie is learning more about Meto and the army of minors that have amassed at the giant rabbit’s feet. Though the old god is able to subdue The Consultant rather easily, it has no bearing on the hostility that Essie holds towards her mother. The story here slows a bit despite a very interesting tease of an ending in the issue. What is most intriguing in this issue, following up on some plot from issue six is the character of The Foreman and a visit he is paid by a shadowed figure. Though Jude is certainly the story’s protagonist, Fialkov’s writing of The Foreman and the story about his role and the creation of this management system between sides is possibly even more engaging.
Readers will certainly have a lot to chew on upon reading The Life After #7. The book has yet to slow down and still manages to bring a whole new rush of excitement each time. Gabo’s art continues to be an impressive complement to the story. From the amazing design of creatures like the Seraphim to the massive god, Ometochtli, readers have as much to look forward to from Gabo as they do from Fialkov. With God as a potato, sequences depicting immense tragedy and the underworld beginning to really get involved, there truly is no predicting what may come from chapter eight. The Life After is as entertaining as it is unexpected and its creators are bringing readers on one of the most unique rides in comics right now.