Wynn and Scully end their time in La NiÃ±a in disastrous fashion, narrowly escaping human sacrifice and avoiding the wrath of the Cult of Gore. Chuck Dixon and Butch Guice deliver another “Winterworld” chapter full of well designed action, intrigue, and mystery in this issue. It’s a solid cap to the first arc and leaves enough of their Quixotic journey open for more danger and misadventure in the future.
“Winterworld” has a unique enough take on dystopian future that the tropes of that type of story are still entertaining. I found the town that was obsessed with creating the Greenhouse Effect to once again heat the planet both funny and dangerous. Dixon has tried to cram a lot of story into Scully and Wynn’s time in La NiÃ±a in an attempt to make the human sacrifice that Wynn almost makes of herself land with more impact. It works for the most part, but we really only see the high points of these developments, so our emotional connection is to a montage of events rather than real experience. It’s not bad, just a victim of pacing. Wynn taking on an Orca Whale is pretty exciting and I did not see that development coming at all. Perhaps it’s my sci-fi muddled brain but I expected some type of monster and was pleasantly surprised to find that Dixon is using a more grounded approach to the dangers inherent in this Earth.
Guice delivers more really great work in these pages. The dark photorealism he developed over the years serves the story, creating stark menace as Wynn travels across the ice and makes a character out of the shadows surrounding the action. His choreography is straightforward and professional. He’s not trying to break the page with innovative panel layouts but his work is so clean and the shot choices so well made that those things aren’t needed.
Robbie Robbins’ sound effects lettering is good but one particular sequence seems out of place and took me out of the story. Again, it’s not bad. His speech balloons are placed well and are clean and readable, but Scully’s gunshots on page 18 are a mix between the hand drawn fonts of Wynn’s cowbell and the clinical font choices of the buoy she passes earlier in the sequence. It looks cartoony in a very dark tale, and right over top of the climax of the action.
Dixon looks to be employing rotating artists per arc on this ongoing, which makes me think about the nature of an ongoing title at this point in the evolution of comic publishing, especially at IDW. Dixon will surely adapt his script to the artist he is working with, so why not just create a new title and volume per arc? Either way, there’s more “Winterworld” coming down the pike and Dixon seems to really enjoy spending time in this universe. It’s the best work he’s done in years.