It’s another unpredictable issue of Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes’s thoughtful series. this issue provides more of an explanation of Ethan’s spectral other self, the khe-chara. Intrigued while thinking about Red, the girl who took his virginity, Ethan sends the khe-chara to spy on Red, finding out some uncomfortable facts in the process. Ethan’s reactions might just be those of a lovelorn and confused teenager, or they may be well founded. We don’t know and Gerber and Skrenes don’t tell us. More intriguing, it seems that Ethan can control the khe-chara to a much greater extent than he seemed to in the past.
At the same time that the khe-chara flies free, it also is battered by the arrival to the prison of Cutter, a man of much implied evil. Seemingly, the khe-chara can sense the intense and deep evil of Cutter, but if that’s true, why does he seem to be helping Cindy overcome his/her fears? The ending, where Cutter pierces Cindy’s ears, is as intense as any scene in this series so far. Cutter seems so benign at this point, but as readers we’re just waiting for everything to explode.
I love how Gerber and Skrenes are taking their time setting up the story while not engaging in decompressed storytelling. The plots are advancing slowly, but a lot happens in this issue. Details get filled in, characters are explored, and many questions are asked.
As usual Gerber and Skrenes deliver a complex and interesting story, and as usual Brian Hurtt’s art brings the series to wonderful life.