Cemetery Beach #3 // Review
Mike Blackburn’s life is turning into the embodiment of the phrase “out of the frying pan, into the fire.” Aside from his temporary partner, Grace Moody, everyone on the planets seems to be out to capture or kill him, and he doesn’t know if anyone will be waiting to rescue him. In Cemetery Beach #3 Warren Ellis continues writing a fast paced, high action story, with art by Jason Howard and lettering from Fonografiks.
While Grace has successfully led Mike out of the detention center, she has not yet led him to safety, and she may not get the chance. The President’s soldiers are still on their tail, and now they have to contend with the residents of the colony who don’t want them there. While their skills in combat, and no small amount of luck, have been enough to keep them alive so far, there’s no telling what other obstacles await them on their journey.
A limited amount of dialogue is used at the beginning of this issue. Even towards the end, the panels are not text heavy, because Ellis makes each line count. There’s no unnecessary filler; every word is essential to moving the plot forward or filling in gaps in the backstory. With each issue more is revealed about the characters and their setting, and Ellis doesn’t disappoint this time. Mike finally opens up to Grace about his past on Oldhome, revealing his reasons for taking on such a dangerous assignment. Mike’s history is not the only background taking shape: as the duo continues to travel across the colony, they pass different landmarks and slowly more details are revealed about the colony and the true nature of the residents and their lives.
Relying so heavily on the art to tell the story puts a lot of pressure on the artist, but Howard was once again able to pull it off. His style continues to utilize rough linework and hatching in a way that is fitting for the rough-and-tumble world the characters are in. Howard uses the same loose style for the coloring. The majority, as before, is cool colors--blues, purples, greys, and black--with oranges and yellows used sparingly to punctuate certain scenes.
Revealing the details slowly helps to keep the reader from being overwhelmed by information dumping, while also keeping things intriguing. There is a lot of information to be revealed, but only four issues left in the series. Based on the accomplishments of the creative team for the first three issues, they should be more than able to continue writing a satisfying and thrilling story until the very end.