Gideon Falls #1 |
By: Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino & Dave Stewart |
Published: March 7, 2018 by Image Comics |
From the Image Comics solicitation: A brand-new ongoing series from the acclaimed bestselling creative team of OLD MAN LOGAN and GREEN ARROW! The lives of a reclusive young man obsessed with a conspiracy in the city’s trash, and a washed-up Catholic priest arriving in a small town full of dark secrets, become intertwined around the mysterious legend of The Black Barn, an otherworldly building that is alleged to have appeared in both the city and the small town, throughout history, bringing death and madness in its wake. Rural mystery and urban horror collide in this character-driven meditation on obsession, mental illness, and faith.
Writer Jeff Lemire and illustrator Andrea Sorrentino have reunited for a tour de force of a comic series that promises to deliver plenty of suspense and psychological horror. Lemire and Sorrentino have been developing GIDEON FALLS for years, always with the intention of it being created for Image Comics. Lemire has actually had the character of Norton Sinclair for over twenty years — he’s his oldest character. Yet he has admitted that the fully developed series was inspired by TV shows such as TWIN PEAKS and TRUE DETECTIVE. Also in a recent WORD BALLOON interview Lemire confessed that he was “venting” his own Catholic frustrations through this particular story.
Driven by a dual narrative, this first issue delivers great suspense and dark, yet dynamic, gorgeous and expressive art. Sorrentino’s page layouts are immersive and worthy of repeated viewing, no doubt made all the better by Dave Stewart’s muted, yet very effective coloring. Visually is what puts this comic over the top for me, though that’s not to take anything away from the writing, it’s just that the visual storytelling does most of the heavy lifting here and makes the read even more compelling.
The two narratives of Norton’s trash collecting and his subsequent return to the mental hospital for a therapy session, and of Father Fred’s arrival to Gideon Falls to replace the dearly (suspiciously?) departed Father Tom appear to be unrelated, save for a shared vision of the The Black Barn mentioned in the solicit. There’s something about the reveal in the last couple of sequences that I have a feeling will tie/twist things together even more. There’s a specific reveal that may hit toward what’s happened to Father Tom, who is supposedly no longer with us.
Aside from those two jaw-dropping final sequences that are sure to compel any readers to be curiously intrigued by the series to come, the portion in the middle really grabbed me as well. It’s the part where Norton’s psychiatrist thinks he’s regressing, undoing all the progress he’s made in his mental health by being obsessed with hunting through the city’s trash for clues to uncover some great mystery/conspiracy. The conflict here is Norton believes he’s uncovering the work of the Devil — real and true evil. It begs the question: is he on to something? Or is he truly delusional and in need of some better meds? Given that this series is billed as a psychological horror . . . well, it could be a little of both? Whatever it turns out to be I’m confident it’s all going to be a very compelling read. One for which I’ll be along for the ride. I predict that Gideon Falls will join Lemire’s other ongoing series DESCENDER as a long term creator-owned success.
Rating: 4.5 / 5 | Sticking with it?: Yes!