Gideon Falls #5
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
2018 could have used another horror comic and Jeff Lemire was all too happy to oblige when he released Gideon Falls in March of this year. Before we look at the present issue, lets recap Issues 1-4 in the fan favorite feature: Chris’ Ultimate Recap! (Editor’s Note: Chris created that name on his own and Sequential Planet does not officially recognize Chris’ Ultimate Recap)
Norton is a troubled man that spends his days wearing a medical mask and digging through the city’s garbage collecting small pieces of wood and metal. Pieces that to an ordinary person look like trash, but Norton believes they are remnants from something called The Black Barn. He collects and catalogs these items in jars at his apartment until someone breaks in and steals much of what Norton has been researching. Maybe he isn’t so crazy after all. We are also following Father Fred Quinn as he arrives in Gideon Falls to take over a congregation at a church that recently lost their pastor. Father Fred is battling his own demons from the past since he has struggled previously in the church, but the Bishop is adamant that the parish in Gideon Falls needs Fred’s guidance. Norton is seeing the psychiatrist, Dr. Xu, who is certain he suffers from a mental condition of some kind and is threatening to put him back in a hospital if he can’t show progress and stop going on about The Black Barn. This continues until, in a major scene, Dr. Xu finally sees the barn and begins to understand Norton’s obsession. Back in Father Fred’s storyline, he has been accused of murdering the former pastor who was thought to be dead but turns out he wasn’t when Fred moved into town, but he is now. Upon being absolved, Fred travels to the local doctor, aptly named Doc Sutton, after discovering some documents that the former pastor was hiding away in the rectory. Turns out he also knows something about the mysterious Black Barn. Doc Sutton is a bona fide Lone Gunmen type, who plasters his walls with research about the Black Barn. Here we learn about the Ploughmen, a group fighting the evil of the Black Barn in Gideon Falls since 1924. Finally, the Sheriff, with Father Fred in tow, are called out to odd character Joe Reddy’s house. Here we discover that Joe has killed a deputy and tells Father Fred he has been waiting for him. How delicious is this…?
Wow. That was quite a spoiler-filled recap. Remember kids, when you need to catch up, come on down to Chris’ Ultimate Recap. We can now move forward with this exciting issue. In this fifth issue, we learn quite a bit about our local sheriff and how her past includes the Black Barn and even cult enthusiast Doc Sutton. Norton and Xu talk about the Black Barn and how the obsession started. Lemire gives us a spectacular ending that leaves us salivating for Issue #6.
Jeff Lemire has gained a following in comics and rightfully so. The man has brought us so many great books (Essex County, Sweet Tooth, Old Man Logan) and yet, Gideon Falls seems special to him. He is giving us real characters with genuine problems. The story is something I knew I would latch onto immediately. If you like horror, then Lemire is writing something special for you in this series. Every issue of this series gives us some more information that we didn’t even know we wanted. This issue will be looked back on as the most important of this arc.
I know this is Lemire’s story, but Andrea Sorrentino is almost stealing the show with this artwork. He is the reason Gideon Falls has any feeling at all. The dark city that Norton lives in, to the pastures surrounding Father Fred, are all lived in and give the reader a feeling that is so perfect. Sorrentino and colorist Dave Stewart are also taking the approach where so many pages are treated like a splash page with panels inside of it. He tends to leave no gutter plain. He is filling these pages and giving us something to really look closely at. His art is amazing on its own, but it’s his ability to take the panels and page away from the typical format we see in all other comics that makes this artwork top tier. It is simply ingenious.
I can’t sing the praises of this comic enough and Lemire just keeps giving us more reasons to love it. Issue #5 is still maintaining the quality of the previous issues and is further setting up the mystery of Gideon Falls and the Black Barn. Sorrentino’s art is beautifully terrifying and is leading the charge here. Unless you really dislike horror, this is a must-read series.
Gideon Falls #5
The creative team behind Old Man Logan is going all out on a horror comic that is proving to be quite gripping. Issue #5 is leading us into the arc's finale and is just as great an issue as we have had so far in this series.