New World #4

Writer: Aleš Kot
Artist: Tradd Moore
Color Artist: Heather Moore
Flatter: Ludwig Olimba
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Designer: Tom Muller
Publisher: Image Comics

A review by Christoph Staffl

A lot happened in the last issue: Stella found out that the system she trusted spied on her. And they did that for basically her entire life. Very possibly dictated by her own father. Kirby’s dad, on the other hand, had a reunion with an old friend of his. It didn’t go well. In addition to that, friends showed their real faces, and the trio now drives towards an impossible wall/border to cross. All this while seemingly everyone hunts them. So… basically a normal day in the life of our protagonists. Also, needless to say, it was another fabulous issue.

With everything that was going on, one character was overlooked. It is not her fault. Let me just say, that the real hero of the last issue was Stella’s cat Godzilla. The way the creators work with that creature is amazing to look at. Be it thrown into Kirby’s face, shot at or transported in a box. She can handle everything without losing her cool – almost. She might be a cat but knows exactly what is going on. Fully aware that Stella cares about her and will save her no matter what. Her arrogance shows not only on the way she walks. Magnificent. Godzilla is my new favorite character, right after Kirby’s abs of course.

I mean, take one of the last issues, open it and look at those things. They seem hard and soft at the same time. Something you can either lie on and feel perfectly supported and save or hiding behind them because nothing can penetrate those things. Can I have a spin-off one shot, just with Kirby’s abs as the protagonist? The grandeur of how they support his body like a block of polished marble holds a majestic statue. Without any sign of corruption like a perfectly shaped sphere made out of a single crystal of silicon. They can handle everything.

Sorry, I got distracted. Back to the current story: We have reached the fourth and penultimate issue of the series, but that does not mean the creators hold anything back. They introduce new bold styles and techniques in both, artistic and storytelling aspects. Slowing the story down to give us some insight into our characters past that I did not expect. All that while still pushing the story forward, no matter what. I still hope we don’t lose this series, once Kirby’s and Stella’s story-arc ends.

As I mentioned, this issue is the calm before the storm. There are a few quiet moments, and every one of them hits the right points. For one, the creators pull off one of the most sincere conversations, and maybe even moment, our protagonists had in the whole series. It is a genuinely intimate minute, only comparable to the one they shared in the bathroom in the first issue. Only this time it is not physical. It cements their relationship and their connection like nothing we have seen so far.

At the same time, a new style appears out of nowhere, similar to what I mentioned in previous reviews. Be it the way Moore draws the panel borders or chooses to show ridiculously close close-ups. The creative team always finds a way to surprise their readers. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg, as one of the characters directly mentions one of the changes, we are met with, in this fourth installment of the series. And it fits perfectly like the well-rounded abs complement Kirby’s body.

There is a lot to talk about in this issue. One could dive deep into the several themes touched on by the characters. Even their connections to side-characters seem genuine and honest. I don’t want to spoil any of them. Let’s just say that everything we were introduced to so far seems to slowly connect and we can see the bigger picture.

The Verdict: Read it! The New World is an incredible series with a unique style not only for its world and characters but also regarding the book itself. Everything seems important and is somehow connected with each other. At the same time, the book guides us smoothly through the scenes without losing focus on what is really important. I can’t wait to read the finale.

Christoph Staffl

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