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Stillwater 3 Main

"Stillwater #3" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics / Skybound Entertainment

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Written by Chip Zdarsky
Illustrated by Ramon K. Perez
Colored by Mike Spicer
Lettered by Rus Wooton
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 18th, 2020

Review:

Daniel is settling into his new life in the town of Stillwater, where no one dies. The residents have worked hard to keep this place a secret and that means putting down outsiders. Daniel got in on a technicality, as he was born here, but then spirited away years ago. He's not just going to move into a new place and start his life anew. Daniel is pissed and rightfully so after these people killed his friend. Get ready for some trouble.

Stillwater has an unforgettable ominous tone to it. It's almost suffocating. The locals are always watching. Artist Ramon K. Perez makes this quaint little town seem oppressing. We see others literally watching Daniel, but it's more than that. Even when he's alone, you just know that someone is nearby, ready to catch him breaking rules so they can put him out to pasture.

It's funny because on the surface, this looks like your average American town. Colorist Mike Spicer establishes this Norman Rockwell-esque mood. The sun is shining and everything looks peaceful. This serves as a nice juxtaposition to the vile nature of some of these residents and how utterly ruthless they are.

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The idea of a town where no one dies sounds almost peaceful in a way. Stillwater is anything but. Since they can't lose their life, they don't value it. They can jump off a building and get up unscathed in a few minutes. Bones are mended. Wounds are healed. This plays into the punishments too. For her crimes, Daniel's mother was buried alive. Think about that for a second. You can't die, so you're stuck six feet under until the judge decides you've paid your dues.

Writer Chip Zdarsky outlines some of the logistics for these people who have been living here for generations. It's clear they have all the details worked out. Everything is in its proper place...which is what makes Daniel stick out like a sore thumb. He could jeopardize everything they've built. He's a threat. There's a great exchange between Daniel and the woman charged with taking care of official records like birth and death certificates, essentially creating new identities when needed. It speaks volumes to how this machine runs.

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There's a selfish tone to almost everyone in this place. They have this special thing that so many others could benefit from and they are not willing to share it with anyone. It's greed to a sickening level.

For his part, Daniel isn't taking any of this idly. He's biding his time until he can strike. We get glimpses into his mind through his inner narration, shown as excerpts from a journal by letterer Rus Wooton. I'm not sure what he's planning just yet, but it's sure to be a bloodbath. Will that matter in a place where wounds heal like Wolverine?

Stillwater has really hit its stride here. It's introduced a killer concept and now it's getting ready for some sweet vengeance. Who would have known that such carnage could be unleashed in a place where you'll never grow old and die?

Grades:

Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
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Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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