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Telling a complete story in one issue is difficult but The Return of Jeremy Munroe manages to do it. How well is a more involved question to answer.
This is a one-shot and is about Linda, whose fiancé, Jeremy Munroe, has died. Or has he…? One night, when Linda is visiting her grave, Jeremy appears to rise from his grave. However, looks can be deceiving.
This is a simple story with powerful elements. Writer Michael Edwards establishes the plot quickly with the help of artist Brent Giles by using this one-shot’s greatest strength: telling the story through artwork. A lot of stories today have a decent amount of text that covers the artwork. In this story, there is barely any dialogue and absolutely no narration. This is done well, but there are a couple of drawbacks to using this style.
For one, there were a couple spelling issues in this book (an unnecessary comma here and there) which are much more obvious in a comic with such little text to start with. I’m also more of a story-oriented person than an aesthetically-oriented person, so this isn’t my usual comic book. People who want a lot of text and a complex story will be disappointed. Little text also means this story can fly by, especially if you’re only glancing at the art which you cannot do with this comic.
The worst possible thing this comic book could do, however, is thankfully avoided… for the most part. If Giles artwork was horrible and didn’t tell a story effectively this one-shot would have failed miserably. But Giles does a decent job. Character’s expressions usually do a great job showing what they’re thinking without needing text but sometimes they are over-exaggerated.
The one thing that sometimes hurts the artwork is particular to the copy of the comic I have. It’s the “Special graytone black & white edition.” I saw a couple of the colored images on the back page of the comic and I feel that they looked much better than the black and white because it was easier to see the detail in the artwork… but then again, the colors are sometimes so bright they hurt the dark and dreary mood of the story which came through much better with the black and white version.
Another problem stems from the fact that this is a one-shot. It’s hard to bond with characters this quickly and you don’t fully feel Linda’s pain after only knowing her for about twenty pages. Complex character development takes time. But I do like how things are left between her and Jeremy and the ending of this story.
This is a comic book I’m very conflicted about. If you’re interested in a story that takes only one issue and is told through pictures rather than text, this is a pretty good place to start. But it’s nothing revolutionary and could have been a bit more detailed both story-wise and artistically. Still, it’s a solid issue that can be enjoyed by the right reader.
Oddly enough, on the cover of this issue it says it’s a “Sequel.” This is a bit misleading because the prequel has not been written yet. Michael Edwards is planning on writing the prequel if the sales for this comic allow him to. You can order the comic via the emails of writer Michael Edwards (email@example.com) and artist Brent Giles (firstname.lastname@example.org).