Writer: Vita Ayala
Artist: Raul Allen and Patricia Martin
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Rating: 12+ Only
What is it that separates a hero from a villain? Is it intent? Is it sacrifice? Is it love? Is it belief? Is it the result of that belief? Can a writer get away with asking seven questions at the beginning of a review? Livewire #3 continues its engaging story with the intent to ask the reader with these tough philosophical thought processes within the backdrop of a visual masterwork of a fight scene. If you would like to find out more about the whole comic, please see my review on Issue #1 and Issue #2.
In Livewire #3, we find Amanda “Livewire” McKee confronted with a powerful foil from her past named Pan. He is as engaging a character as he is powerful, as his supernatural power allows him to tap into individuals’ memories. It is with these flashback sequences that the reader can start to piece together Livewire’s past that has been teased since the beginning of the book. As both Pan and Amanda battle across the pages physically, one starts to see the cerebral battle that is being fought as well. We find that the titular characters brand of heroism may not be one that we are comfortable with. Revolution comes with a cost, and Livewire has paid dearly for hers and it is Pan that provides the point that her failings are of her own volition. Is Pan the villain in the story? Or is Livewire? The narrative questions that are created within this issue are excellent.
Once again, the artwork continues to shine in this novel. I want to point out a section where the word “bang” is used as a panel. The viewpoint is one where the reader sees a top down picture of the room, eliciting a sense of scale as broken objects are strewn across the room. The faded pink in the center to strong accented magenta at the border give a sense outward expansion of power. Coupling this with the word “bang” itself causes the imaginary noise in one’s mind, immersing the reader into the explosion itself. I continue to be impressed with the character design in this novel. From Amanda’s individual dreads, to Pan’s cocky, bowlegged stance; each character is drawn and colored with a true flair and attention to detail. This is an excellent example of writer and artist being creatively in sync.
The third installment of this book has me hooked on this series. The snippets of Amanda’s past that are now coming to light are more intriguing than ever. The themes of the psyche versus the physical are ever present throughout, both in the dialogue and the actual powers that both Pan and Livewire exhibit. I cannot recommend a book more. Do yourself a favor and start reading this series.
Ryan Files is an avid comic book and video game consumer, reviewer, and critic hailing from the boondocks of Illinois. He has taken his ethnographic cultural studies background and applied it to his love of geekdom. He is a huge Star Wars nerd, Castlevania fanatic, and his power level is definitely over 9000. When he isn’t online writing about how he misses old school beat em’ ups like Final Fight, Streets of Rage, or TMNT IV Turtles in Time, he raises his 3 Dora Milaje warrior girls with the most awesome wife a blerd could ask for. You can reach the mumbly one @moblipeg on Twitter or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.