Extremity #9 Review

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Posted December 5, 2017 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written By: Daniel Warren Johnson

Art By: Daniel Warren Johnson & Mike Spicer

Published By: Image

I feel quite bad about taking this long to review an issue of Extremity. The comic is fantastic, one I look forward to every month. It has top-notch world building, some amazing characters, and a really great art style that gels with its steampunk nature. It’s a diamond that looks rough because dystopias are rough, and yeah it’s on the YA side, but it the characters are believable and the angst is justified.

Though calling it angst is doing it a bit of a disservice.

Regardless, issue #9 sees a series of short attacks and their aftermaths. It’s all fun stuff to be sure, with giant monsters that take inspiration from insects and dragons, and the book never pulls any punches when it comes to gore. There’s a heavyness to every hit, a sticky, frictive feel to the slashes and falls. It reminds me of Gears of War, in a way. These are hefty people and they’re made of meat, and that meat can be cut.

However, it’s the aftermath that’s the most impressive. We’re treated to a funeral of sorts, and while I won’t spoil the goings-on, I will say that it is exceptionally well written and exceptionally pretty. It’s the kind of world building that makes this book stand out above so many others. That I adored the ingenuity of it is only one part of the whole; what the scene does to Thea is profound, and it forces her to look at herself in a new way.

Because thematically, the book is about looking at hardships and how people deal with the wrongs done to them. Since this is a dystopia, the answer tends to be violence. Thea lost her arm–and her abilities as an artist–and she’s living in a world where an arm-for-an-arm will make the whole world equal. In this chapter, she glimpses a different way to grieve, one that isn’t about filling the void with blood but with peace.

It’s striking.

Everything is handled with grace, and while the art style on display doesn’t really yield itself to pretty, serene moments, it still works. Thea’s world isn’t pretty or serene. The moments look out of place because they are. It works.

Extremity is a great book that I hope people wind up noticing. It delivers violence with the best of them, never pulling away from blood or gore, but it’s the between moments, the characters and world building that really shine. These are real people in real situations. They are asking real questions with real answers. Those answers are not easy to accept.

Extremity #9



Extremity #9

9

Final Score

9.0/10

Pros

  • Exceptional world building
  • Artwork fits the book well
  • Some excellent character moments
  • Good ol violence between all the heavy stuff



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.