And so the final four issues of “Young Liars” begin. With the book ending with issue 18, the conclusion of the book’s third six-part story, each issue takes on an added level of meaning and dread. But, if you ignore that, it’s just another fantastically weird and surprising issue of “Young Liars” were David Lapham turns things upside down by the end. Again.
You would think that the constant shifting reality of the world of Danny Noonan would grow tiresome, but it always feels organic, like each new twist is necessary to reach the next, that each is simply the predetermined step on the way to the truth. If there is such a thing, of course.
In this issue, Danny (I mean, Johnny) and Sadie (I mean, Loreli) continue to rebel against the small ‘perfect’ town of Browning, attempting to escape in various ways, all failures. Danny’s new plan is to recreate the old gang, gathering together Donnie and Truman, both trapped in seemingly false lives. That is, if Danny is right, which could go either way, honestly. You want to trust in Danny and believe that he knows what he’s doing, but when Dr. Rivera (Donnie) points out that Danny’s story doesn’t really make any sense, the good doctor is right. It doesn’t make much sense.
Lapham is surprisingly self-critical in this issue, pointing out that the supposed plan of the Spiders from Mars is convoluted and ridiculous – though, Danny could have the specifics wrong – and, also, when Danny tells the others about their true selves, Rivera responds, “So… in our real lives we’re horrible stereotypes?” That willingness to mock the book’s beginnings is rare only 15 issues in and also points to the improvisational method in which Lapham creates the book, allowing for growth in unexpected directions. If you look at where the book is now and where it was, the early issues do suffer from comparison.
The difference in Sadie alone is remarkable as, struggling to believe and trust in Danny, she is only part crazy, fearless ‘Sadie Superhero’ that began the series. Now, there are doubts and uncertainty, while Danny has moved from insecure and fearful to fearless and confident. It’s an interesting reversal, although the fearless Sadie makes an appearance.
Lapham’s art continues to impress and perfectly capture the feeling of this weird world. The Browning version of Donnie and Truman don’t look like either character at first, but once Danny reveals the truth, the similarities are impossible to ignore. It’s a great trick and impressively pulled off.
Only three issues left after this and it looks like Lapham is heading in an absolutely unknown direction since the final pages of this issue change everything. Again. It’s superbly crafted and one of the best monthlie