When you’re a top man in any organization, it’s the enemy within that you have to worry about, and Silas is discovering that first hand at the worst possible time. As he’s being attacked by outside forces who are in league with his own men, there’s only a few he can rely on. One of them is the newcomer to the planet, Isaac, who does just enough to stay alive. Though as overwhelming as the odds seem, Silas isn’t one to be taken lightly, as he demonstrates here, but his problems are very far from over. Isaac also has more immediate issues to deal with, as we find out what happened to the only other survivor from their crash landing.
Puryear and Alexander shift the focus between several different characters throughout this issue, and do an excellent job pushing their stories forward while maintaining a steady focus on the common thread, which is Isaac. He’s become much more interesting lately, and you really want to find out what makes him so special. Which is pretty hard to do in a series with so many unique individuals that stand out from one another in both motive and design. It’s one of the things that has made this series so good, and it’s that even with the character tropes that we may have seen before, Alexander and Puryear make sure that there’s something about each that keeps you engaged and guessing as to what will happen next.
Concrete Park also has quite a few moving parts, and even though it’s also crowded with characters, it’s not overwhelming or confusing as to who anyone is. A huge part is due to their designs thanks to Puryear, and their cinematic freeze frame-like introductions. We’re also getting a cast of multi-cultural characters that are being written with a sense of depth that they deserve, and not some thinly perceived interpretation. Luca especially is just a plethora of self doubt, bad choices, and a dark past, but it’s also what has made or is making her into the leader that she is. A character that doesn’t see how much of an actual impact she has on the ladies that follow her, how much they trust her with their lives, and that they would probably lay down theirs for hers.
The artwork by Puryear is just amazing and continues to be a highlight of every issue. He has come up with some very wild character designs that range from very subtle to outrageous, but all of it fits in the world of Concrete Park. These huge, brightly colored panels are just great to look at, and it’s always nice to see an artist use a non traditional comic art style. What has also become obvious over the course of the series is that even though it’s a sci-fi story, the focus really isn’t on the tech, but the characters on this strange planet. So what we do see is plenty of low tech devices and familiar settings from Earth, with a few glimpses of high tech equipment that pop up from time to time. The shift is pretty subtle, but makes for a strong point if you look into the deeper meaning of the narrative.
Overall, this issue is another example of why this series has been so well received and needs to be on your “must have” list. Concrete Park is sci-fi, action, drama, and everything that’s just good in comics, but it also has something to say. I’d suggest picking it up and getting in on the adventure yourself.
Also, check out the interview with Concrete Park creators, Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander, at NYCC!