So a few weeks ago I reviewed Strange Girl #7 and gave it a really positive review. Rick Remender’s story charmed me: I said it provided atmosphere, thrills, surprises and a sweet ending. But what really excited me about the comic was Harper Jaten’s artwork. Jaten’s art was spectacular, hyper-detailed and exciting.
The problem is that Harper Jaten was apparently a fill-in artist.
Oh, there’s nothing wrong at all with Jerome Opena’s art on this issue. It’s clean and well-rendered, dynamic and interesting. Opena has a way of providing his panels with interesting angles and terrific dynamism. But Jaten – he was something really special. Jaten’s art was magically memorable for me. Honestly, some of the scenes in Jaten’s issue still stick in my mind, and I think I’ve fallen into being a big fan of his work almost accidentally. So I really miss him in this comic.
Is that wrong? Is it unfair for me as a reviewer to complain about an artist because he’s not another artist? I try to be honest in my reviews, and this was my overwhelming reaction to this issue. So make of this review what you will.
To be a bit more dispassionate again, this issue’s story is exciting and fun. Remender delivers his usual mix of excitement and humor, a thrilling battle with some very nasty demons. The issue depicts the battle betwen a group of human military troops, who have Beth, the Strange Girl on their side, as they battle to escape a very strange place in which demons live. Beth is half human, half demon, and seems to be fighting her own impulses as everone attempts to break free. There are some especially memorable scenes in this comic, especially one where some people prove to be quite inhuman indeed.
So a strange review for a strange comic. This is a good comic, it’s just been even better in the past.