A:D.: After Death #3 Review

0
Posted May 11, 2017 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written by: Scott Snyder

Art by: Jeff Lemire

Publisher: Image Comics

AD: After Death would have been my favorite comic of 2016 had it ended in 2016 (I don’t make the technicalities (yes I do) I just enforce them (when it suits me)). That’s okay though, because five months into 2017, and I don’t see a comic besting AD: After Death Book 3. Maybe God Country and maybe Underwinter, but those are some hefty maybes. Think twice as heavy as a probably and you’re getting close to how hefty those maybes are.

Sorry.

Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire gave themselves a very large handicap when it comes to this final issue. The first two were damn near perfect, with just the right amount of world building, character building, and mystery to back up every page and panel of jaw-dropping artwork. They had to best it. They did.

It’s hard to say if any one thing sets this issue apart from the rest as being the best. Snyder’s writing is as perfect as ever, and Lemire’s water-color wonder is as breathtaking as it was in the first two issues and his ongoing Royal City. It’s less that it’s all better and more that it’s somehow consistent, as if we didn’t have a four-month break between issues. Time was stopped, and only now is it allowed to resume.

I’m not sure if the plot is about our broken thief or the hefty idea of time itself. Jonah is back, and this time he’s stolen something greater than any object. He’s also dwelling on the past and trying to change his future.

But the issue is hardly about that. No, A.D. After Death is more concerned with the underbelly of immortality, of watching time crawl by and forgetting your past. Because that’s the rub of this wonder drug in this wonder dystopia; Jonah and those still alive can live forever, but their brains can only hold so much. It’s a concept that was established in the first book,  yet it’s only in this third installment that we really get a full grasp of what the implications really are.

It’s horrifying, is what it is. Goddamned horrifying.

The rest is more gripping mystery as Jonah jumps between his thievery, his current quest of finding survivors, and his past. The writing treads the line of confusing at times, yet in the right ways. I was kept on my feet, wondering what would happen next, wondering what little glimpse of this apocalypse would spring through and explain everything. None? Some? Will I forget the answer?

And it’s all backed up by Lemiere’s fucking wonderful artwork. I really can’t describe it as any less than that. His style isn’t perfect for every book, but it fits so well here that not even a god could pry his water colors from Snyder’s prose. The two are a match made in chaos—praise Azathoth.

Everything about this book is wonderful and gripping. Everything about this story is wonderful and gripping. The only flaw is that it took four months for this issue to come out, but A.D. After Death is willing to hold hands with confusion, because it knows the payoff is worth it.

The payoff, by the way, is worth it.

Congratulations Snyder and Lemire. You’ve hit Neil Gaiman levels.

A:D.: After Death #3




A:D.: After Death #3


100

Final Score

10/10

    Pros

    • The character work
    • The world building
    • The mystery
    • The fucking amazing artwork
    • Everything. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?



    About the Author

    Chad Waller

    Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company working on their first game, The Regret of Vitrerran. He also likes to write, preferring fiction and poetry, but also the occasional book review or video game essay. You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.