“The Secret History of D.B. Cooper” #3 is a dazzling display of artistic class and stylistic storytelling. Our eponymous lead, a cerebral spy and brooding family man, is carving his own quest into the world. New information comes to light in this issue, people continue to die and we all get a slightly better understanding of this world and the people conspiring against one another in it.
This issue is the most expositional of the title so far. However, it also contains gargantuan cyclopean sludge monsters, exploding faces, sky-faring monster slugs and a bunch of other — well, it’s hard to describe these creatures — which means there’s a crazy balance to the book. For every weird sequence of phantasmagorical delight there is another of spy talk behind closed doors. It helps that each set piece is equally as enjoyable as the other. Brian Churilla creates a comic no one knew they wanted but readers are now stuck needing it.
In order to pull off such a strange tale, Churilla delivers a seemingly loose and easy art style that actually bringing a lot of nuance to each page. This isn’t a photorealistic book and such an almost cartoony style opens up Churilla to do whatever he wants with the characters, settings and then even the narrative. This is a world of opportunity where anything goes and as a result, the reader waits on the edge of their seat throughout with constant rewards in each issue.
Churilla’s colors set the tone as much as they illuminate specifics about the scene. You instantly feel scene changes, and you certainly can’t miss the trips into the Glut — the metamystical realm where Cooper wages his espionage battles. This textual tone helps build substance to the world Cooper inhabits and as such it’s all just so much more fun. It’s also more dangerous, and it’s definitely crazier.
“The Secret History of D.B. Cooper” #3 continues the brilliant build of this extremely unique tale. There is one large point of progression within this issue but the main draw will continue to be the melting reality of the Glut. For a character we never knew anything about in the real world, Churilla has quickly endeared us to Cooper in both his monster quests and his personal hopes. As a character study, this book is intriguing and as a fantasy battle book it is a blast. Readers, take a chance on this book. Experimentation like this should be rewarded with money and adoration.