Saturday, November 3, 2012

Trade Central Station: The Unwritten Volume 6

The Unwritten Volume 6: Tommy Taylor and the War of Words
Mike Carey
Peter Gross
M.K. Perker



Hurricane Sandy hit us here in New Jersey. We're still recovering. There are still lots of places without electricity and trying to get gas is a nightmare. So, Episode 191 of The Verbal Mosh podcast is running a little late. Because of the storm, and before I got power back, during the daylight hours, I was able to find time to read the latest Unwritten trade paperback.

Script, story, art is by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, with finishes by M.K. Perker, Dean Ormston and Vince Locke.

Tom/Tommy is starting to get to the source of who the Cabal is. We learn about the Grid, more on Leviathan, and we finally find out the back-story to Pullman.

Tom is becoming Tommy. At points, Tom finds himself pulling out glasses to wear and he's really trying to get a handle on his magical abilities, which at times, he looses grip on. He really needs to learn more about his powers. Lizzie Hexam believes this information can be found in Wilson Taylor's old journals, but Tom is a man of action. He doesn't want to sit around giving more time to the Cabal to hide from him as he's hot on their trail.

The stories of Leviathan and Pullman seem to be really entwined. The Leviathan is a creature, not of any world, but would travel between the solid world and the world of shadow that was created at the beginning of all time. Being neither bound, it was difficult to find any kind of sustenance and it seemed like Leviathan would die. But then, it found that it could feed on stories. When he takes a particular fondness to any one story, it seems like he never wants to let it go. That is what happens with Pullman and what happens with Tom, too. They are stories that Leviathan is fixated on, and so can never disappear. Tom will be Tommy.

Another character we find out a lot about is Rausch, the old woman with the marionettes. She also has an interesting relationship to Leviathan in that she can create stories that actually take shape.

By the end, the headquarters of the cabal becomes quite a mess as Tommy fights his way through and Lizzie and Richie follow up as back-up to protect Tom. Tommy becomes separated from them and comes face to face with Pullman. As a truce to stop the stories and put an end to Pullman's life, they switch stories so as to gain Leviathan's attention in order to kill it. Things don't go to plan. Pullman just doesn't want to die, but he also wants Tommy to die and in turn, Leviathan. The interesting thing to note is the line told in the earlier Pullman back-up: what would happen to such a man as Pullman if he were set free? If he weren't tied to his story? It looks like he does die. Lizzie seems to disappear to nothingness, Richie saves Tommy, the building all around is destroyed, but I doubt that will be the last trouble Tommy has with the cabal.

These are great stories and I love the way they connect. Tommy is such a good guy but he can also be stubborn with lots of faults. Rausch had such a troubled past and it's interesting to see how that plays into her character as an adult. I wouldn't call her a good or bad person. She was in a lot of pain as a child. I love the pacing. The magical bits are fun but far more intriguing is seeing how the stories take hold of people. There's a point where the Grid is being used to counter Tommy's magic by reading aloud stories about Tommy as a disease, a murderer, an all round villain.

Highly entertaining. The art is fantastic and I just love the covers by Yuko Shimizu. This is one of the best comic book series, through and through. If you're not reading it, you should check it out for yourself.

-O.Pelaez

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