ADVANCE REVIEW! Sacrifice #3 will go on sale Wednesday, February 15, 2012.
Over the course of the first few pages of Sacrifice #3 you will do something you didn’t know would happen while reading this series: laugh. As great as Sacrifice has been, I wouldn’t exactly say that it’s been all that funny. And yet, I laughed twice over just the first few pages of this issue.
In a lot of ways, this issue is something of an action movie, complete with funny quips. We move from fight scene to fight scene in a fairly traditional method, save for the insertion of a panel here and there that speaks to Hector’s other life. This is probably the fastest read of the three issues that have been released so far because of this. Or at least it would be, if not for Dalton Rose’s art.
Not be cliché, but Rose seems to have taken things to the next level with this issue. Perhaps it’s just because he has more room to spread his artistic wings, but it’s impossible to just zip through this issue without stopping to take in these fantastic pages. From the opening full page which covers the core concepts of the series, to the gorgeous waterfall where Malin and Tlahuicole fight, to the history lesson that actually looks like it was made from wood engravings, Rose has unleashed the kraken with this issue.
It would be a shame to leave out the colors by Pete Toms, too. I know absolutely nothing about the coloring process, but whatever Toms is doing is working brilliantly with Rose’s art. The examples I gave above are striking in almost every regard. Panels are bold and vibrant when they need to be and muted and subtle when they need to be. These two should always work together.
This issue also gives us our first, overt mention of Ian Curtis, the lead singer from Joy Division who has been referenced throughout the series, but usually on the periphery. He’s still not named, but this issue goes so far as to actually depict Curtis’ fate. Part of the genius of this series is how it’s managed to intertwine Aztec history and Joy Division. We’ve gotten more of the former than the latter up to this point, but I have a feeling that ratio might change as we get closer to the finish line.
Perhaps because of the nature of the specific story in this issue, this series seems like it’s gaining momentum, like it’s started to streamline a bit. The large questions still remain, but while they were forefront in the first issue, they’ve been pushed back since. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; I appreciate stories that can manage two distinct narratives without making me feel like I’m losing something.
In fact, Humphries has done such a nice job of establishing this new world for Hector that there’s a part of me that would actually be okay with not getting answers to those big questions. The journey itself has, to this point, been enjoyable enough on its own.
Kyle Garret is the author of I Pray Hardest When I'm Being Shot At, available now from Hellgate Press. His short fiction has been published in the Ginosko Literary Journal, Literary Town Hall, Children, Churches, & Daddies and Falling Into Place. He writes comic book reviews here at Comic Bulletins and blogs for PopMatters. He can be found at KyleGarret.com and on Twitter at @kylegarret.