Terry Moore’s “Rachel Rising” is filled with both subtle and unsubtle horror, and “Rachel Rising” #26 feels like the calm before another decidedly terrifying storm as both heroes and villains regroup.
Visually, the book continues to be absolutely gorgeous with its clean lines and stark black and whites. Moore has always paced his books exceptionally and “Rachel Rising” is no exception. The storytelling is flawless and engaging, his characters are ridiculously consistent, well-designed, and –perhaps most importantly — feel like real people a reader might know. The flashback memories that Rachel gets from holding Zoe’s knife are done in a more rendered and realistic style, and with darker tones and more shading and depth, which is a nice contrast to the rest of the book. There is one page of reveal toward the end that lacks clarity from both a visual and writing standpoint. It’s possible that the scene is deliberately unclear, but with all the mysteries in the book, the way it’s revealed feels a bit like a misstep in conveying significance and whether readers should wholly understand the event or if it’s a just a piece of the overall mystery. Other than that page however, the book is almost flawless in its visual execution.
One of the greatest strengths of this series is that though Lilith is clearly an antagonist, she’s the best kind of villain: easy to relate to, and to feel for, even as she commits atrocities. Lilith got a raw deal, the kind of impossible deal that would turn anyone into a monster — so, though you root for Rachel and her friends, the layers to Lilith make the story all the more engaging and complex. Moore gives out another little detail about Lilith that he’d hinted at previously, but now spells out, and it only adds more dimension to her, and more fruitless desperation to the task set before our heroes.
Though “Strangers in Paradise” may always be his most famous work, “Rachel Rising” continues to be Moore’s best. The series is a stunningly beautiful and effortlessly intriguing blend of horror and humanity; the very things that make people — and the world — tick and go boom.