Writer: Mirka Andolfo
Artist: Mirka Andolfo
This issue has extreme “out with the old, in with the new” vibes, and I ain’t mad about it. Like her mother, Maxime/The Glance, Leslie has had to face betrayal and loss in her life, and through this, she has had to craft a new identity for herself.
She feels untethered from her old self because of her constant struggle with Kahl that she’s beyond exhausted. The old Leslie was ready to give in, but with nothing tying her to her old life, she readily invites the conflict with Kahl and vows to do more than just resist. Invigorating pre-battle vibes here for sure. This brief conversation foreshadows Maxime’s statements later about putting on her own mask and becoming the Glance as well as the grand finale between Leslie and Kahl that’s been promised in issue #12. I love this layering technique by our creator.
The majority of this installment of Andolfo’s has been told through flashback, which is wholly welcome as it provides depth and insight into the backstory of two of our most important characters. In this flashback we learn how Carol developed her scars and what influenced her to join the fight against the Alliance as well as the significance of Tijoux. Sure, we’ve known who was behind the Glance’s mask for a while now, but we really didn’t have much insight in how Leslie’s mother became so corrupted.
From what I grasped, Maxime’s pride in her relation to Bes, jealousy towards Leslie, and her lust for power are what makes up her identity as the Glance. She tossed away her identity a long time ago, sacrificing a relationship with her daughter, love, and any goodness she possessed.
Carol and Maxime have a storied past with one another, but I don’t want to give all the information away as there’s no way for me to do the story justice. “You gave me my ideals, inspired them…then betrayed them.” Tough stuff between two of the heaviest players in Andolfo’s anthropomorphic world. With very little color in these panels, we learn the Alliance’s history is highly similar to the way Hitler brainwashed and indoctrinated the youth of Germany with the hopes of creating a master race. It’s a brilliant parallel and my hat’s off to Andolfo’s storytelling once again.
Much of the art is fantastic, once again, but this issue had some of my least favorite panels in the whole series. Again, it was all still beautiful and was consistent to the story’s previous work, but some of the ways Andolfo displays the figurative bonds tethering her and Kahl felt a little forced. I understand the necessity but wish this bond could have been demonstrated in a better fashion.
Her colors and portrayal of characters deserve loads of praise, and maybe I’m nitpicking because I’ve gotten so used to such a high standard of work.
There’s not much left unanswered, but I still don’t see how Andolfo could possibly wrap up this story in the next issue. On the final page, Andolfo promises reunification and lots of drama. My guess is that issue #12 will be oversized and jam-packed with action.
"That was the last thing. Everything that held me to my old life is gone now...forever." The truth of the matter is that Leslie officially has nothing left to lose. Only one issue separates us from the climax of what promises to be a violent and dramatic ending to this story.