By Daniel Warren Johnson, Mike Spicer, and Rus Wooton
Extremity #10 plunges further into the complex emotional journey of Thea, Rollo, and Jerome. This issue, in anticipation of the series’ conclusion, flips the expected on its head in a truly heart wrenching way. The Extremity team’s effort to humanize their characters makes each struggle more painful, and every loss a little more palpable. Johnson’s double duty on pencils and words is consistently a stand out from anything else on the stands, as is Spicer’s ability to color the tenderness of humans in both definitions of the word. Quietly one of the most important aspects to the tone of this series, though, is Wooton’s lettering skills.
The font chosen is wriggly and squirmy, almost mirroring Johnson’s lines. The letters appear unsure of themselves, just like the characters speaking them. Word balloons never feel out of place, but rather feel part of the art itself. Extremity has always been about people learning from the way others act around them, and Wooton’s ability to capture that even in the appearance of the dialogue should be applauded. His work creates a cohesion between each artist that gives the book a nostalgic escapism.
Spicer’s palette, as mentioned, is versatile and smart. His fire, for example, is morbidly beautiful and natural. A crashing, flaming, hunk of metal has never been more addicting to look at than in this issue. Complementing this inferno is a bright green a few panels later. Its contrast begs for attention and draws the reader onward. When our characters aren’t fighting, though, they’re talking. During the more intimate moments of the issue, Spicer’s somber tones promote reflection. One background shade of purple later on is just as ominous and important as the realization of the dialogue spoken in the panel.
The conversations in this issue are so relevant, as they seemingly always are. Johnson is concerned with important issues such as how we deal with frustration and loss. Thea, Rollo, and Jerome are stand ins for ourselves, as we follow them and employ them as litmus tests for our own reactions. In a time where it’s easy to follow anger, Johnson lobbies for patience and contemplation. Thea is entwined in an ethical tug of war between her brother, her father, and a grey area in between. It’s provided insight for her as to what she does and does stand for to the point that she’s able to make a decision about how to cope with her own inner turmoil in this issue.
Extremity #10 is, unfortunately, the intermission before the final act of this powerful series. The team of Wooton, Spicer, and Johnson shows their collaboration on the page like few other comics are able to do, and, most importantly challenge the reader. Whether you side with sister, brother, or father, there’s always an opposition. Behind the wild battles and fantastical world, this comic is deceitfully thoughtful and unabashedly important.