Review: ELSEWHERE #4 (SPOILERS)
By RUSSELL BERGER
If you’ve been following my reviews of ELSEWHERE (#1, #2 and #3) you know that I started out extremely skeptical about this title, and the possibility of me continuing to read was very low– but here I am! With each issue to present, it steadily got better [and better.] Any title that can do that shows that the creative team behind it had a direction from the very start, and knew where they were headed. That makes for great stories, and this issue definitely is that personified.
There were always specific things I was looking for going into each issue [after the number one,] one of the which was how they handled DB Cooper, and if using him paid off or not. Hell, he was the very reason that I stayed on after issue one. So, he became an anchor for me on gauging how good the title was going, and whether he remained enough to keep me on.
Jay Faerber (writer) succeeded on that front. He took everything I love about DB, and used it like a specific and skilled tool to amplify the story.
I was always curious when DB would turn on Amelia Earhart, and how severely he would do that. In issue four, we got a glimpse of his “turncoat-ness” when we saw him writing “steps” down on a piece of paper. I initially thought that it might be a way of remembering how to leave the world they [Amelia and himself] were trapped in now, but it was in fact so much better than what I suspected.
As a matter of fact, in hindsight, I should’ve seen it coming that he was remembering where treasure was. Hell, DB is famous for more than disappearing… he did so after hijacking a plane and getting away with $200K. What he was looking upon (above panel) easily makes his heist look like child’s play.
So, of course, this will be what I look forward to seeing unfold going into the next arc.
Though, my number one plot point I looked forward to being answered was where FRED NOONAN was, and what exactly happened to him. And man-oh-man was I not disappointed, and a hell of a surprised to the answer of,
Fred is LORD KRAGEN. This twist was a fresh breath of air. It caught me by surprise, though, I kind of wish that it happened in a less Darth Vader-esque way, “I am your father,” and more like his helmet was knocked off while Amelia and him were battling. But in the end, easily the second best twist I’ve read in the last six months since THE MERCILESS.
Now, I’m even more curious as to whether Fred– or Lord Kragen survived this issue and will turn up later down the line. Leaving small thread lines of the plot left untied is always great, but they have to be finished at some point [and not too late.]
I’m 110% taking back any criticism I had of Sumeyye Kesgin’s (artist) art/style. At this point it’s one of my favorite things about the title. She captures this world quite well, and definitely has a handle on Amelia and DB’s characters.
Something that this title really banks on is that we know the ending. None return. It reminds me of why Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was so successful. The ending was known, and it allowed for them to experiment so much in “containment,” which I mean that there was no added pressure to give us [the fans] something transcending. It was straight forward of, “give us something amazing to make what we have better.” This is why Jay’s story is killing it, and I think the story got better with every issue.
So with this arc finished, and everything I wanted, achieved, I think this is unquestionably the best issue yet. I’m glad I stayed on this title, and it’s like they say, “sometimes the risk is well worth the reward,” and man do I feel rewarded. I give ELSEWHERE #4 a well deserved 4.5 out of 5.
Please go out and pick up this title at your nearest comic shop, and stay on the look out for when ELSEWHERE #5 will be dropping in onto the same shelves.