The new issue of Pearl, from Dark Horse, is another amazing chapter in the hallucinatory world of Brian Michael Bendis’ creation…

It’s the overlaying and underlying tone of implied danger, of threats that are just skin deep. Or are they caused by blood relatives, poking needles where they don’t belong? The dialogue is tight and has amazing ‘ears’, that is, Bendis writes words that sound like real speech, but shorter and straight to the point. The point is that the story, though elliptical and roundabout, not a simple trek from A to B, not a math equation, is rather poetic, with sharply shaped words. A sprinkling of verbal and visual clues that the reader follows into danger.

Issue #2 of this ‘season’, (Pearl Season 3) is drawn and coloured so radically and realistically by Michael Gaydos. It’s like ‘being there’ with the characters, but the colours are enhanced, yet blurred in their flattened manufactured tints. It’s about the truncated tones, the squashing and squishing of depth and 3D space. Pearl is beautifully drawn, captured, and presented. And Joshua Reed’s letters remain solid, professional, legible, and tastefully ballooned.

It’s a hell of a package, this issue of the story of the girl with the tattoo, her Yakuza connections, the continual and constant turmoil providing us with some great summer reading!

Bonus pages in this issue include some script pages and the subsequent page breakdowns, roughs, and finishes.

Dark Horse, Pearl III, #2, $3.99 for 26 pages of story content, plus extras.

By Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!