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Stillwater 5 Main

"Stillwater #5" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics / Skybound Entertainment

article-cover

Written by Chip Zdarsky
Illustrated by Ramon K. Perez
Colored by Mike Spicer
Lettered by Rus Wooton
2021, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 20th, 2021

Review:

Daniel has returned to his hometown of Stillwater, where he meets a mother he didn't know he had and discovers everyone in his birthplace is immortal. Although he's been here a short amount of time, he's been pulled into a resistance of sorts. Some of the locals want to leave and live something resembling normal lives. At the bare minimum, let the kids age up a bit. That's easier said than done since the Judge rules Stillwater with an iron fist.

I knew the Judge was a big deal in this series, but I was not prepared for this. He comes across as an absolute villain. He's a tyrant that sees his power as a right bestowed upon him by a higher power. Everyone in the town should be grateful for what he's done for them. How dare they ask to leave this paradise where no one is injured and no one can die? He explodes during the climax of this issue. Letterer Rus Wooton drives this home with fiery anger.

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All hell breaks loose at a town meeting after they force a vote on the subject. Colorist Mike Spicer shades some panels in red to highlight the violence. Although blood is spilled, it doesn't have the same effect as it would in another location. Despite the fact that the bullets won't have any lasting effects, you can't escape from that fight or flight response. The bulk of Stillwater #5 has a kind of sun-drenched look to it. It's quaint and peaceful which makes the final pages all the more impactful.

Artist Ramon K. Perez presents a nice juxtaposition in Stillwater #5 between the normal everyday town we see on the surface and the oppressive living conditions that lurk just below. Some of the Judge's soldiers (I don't know what else to call them given their actions) are ruthless and unfazed by these heinous things they have to do in order to protect the town's secret. It's chilling.

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Stillwater works on a few different levels. It's a gripping thriller and an unsettling horror tale in one. It shows corruption of absolute power even in a small town. In short, it's fascinating and should not be missed.

Grades:

Story: fivestars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK.
Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 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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