Monday, May 13, 2013
Trade Central Station: The Unwritten Volume 7
By Mike Carey and Peter Gross
Collecting issues #36-41
It's been nice getting back into this story. Be sure to check out our archives for reviews of the previous volumes. We meet some new characters in this volume which add a wonderful dynamic.
There's a symbiotic relationship between everyone and Leviathan. He feeds off of the stories that are told by people and the stories gives them strength and power, too. There's a great power in belief. Leviathan had been injured from the previous encounter with Tom and Pullman in Volume 6. Tom has been trying to heal Leviathan by performing in front of huge crowds, reading acclaimed masterpieces such as "Tales of Willowbank Wood." He's doing this, primarily to find a way of rescuing Lizzie Hexam, who had been absorbed into Leviathan previously. The trouble is that there is someone who is making this all very difficult for Tommy. He's making Leviathan's wound even worse. Lucas Filby is the occult leader of the Church of Tommy. He is adamant that Tom is Tommy, their savior. The thing he claims that will kill everyone is the death of the story, which links back to the corruptive work the Cabal had done to twist stories to their own profit. He saw that first-hand as he used to work for the Cabal, too. At the same time, he's got caged up a variety of creatures from stories that he can use for his own manipulative purposes. His means of helping the situation is taking the gauntlet that was once a part of Pullman and using it to break people down so they can be absorbed directly into Leviathan, just like Lizzie had been and so many others. On top of that, he's intent on setting off a bomb in order to prove that Tom is Tommy.
Detective Sandra Patterson is such a great character. She's working the missing persons case that's linked to Lucas Filby. She tries to go undercover but her cover gets blown. She is able to get a mole into the Church of Tommy recruitment meetings via Daniel Armitage who came from England because of a message he received from Leviathan. Sandra is so cool because the entire time you, as the reader, are let known that she has a disability though you don't know what it is. It isn't until nearing the end, you find out that she's dyslexic. She touches Pullman's gauntlet and gets sucked in but spit back out as Leviathan doesn't seem to be able to understand her, just as she can't understand sentences. In the end, she tells Tom that she has a message from Lizzie to him. It's good that he gets someone who can help him as Lizzie is gone and it looks like Richie has grown fed up with him.
Another key point to the story is the part that's been following Pauly Bruckner. We learn the back-story as to how he came to look like a rabbit. He meets the children he spawned with another fairytale creature back when he was still climbing the endless stairs. In a twist of fate, Pauly is transformed back into his human self. All his strife may come to naught as the "wave" approaches that will obliterate all life. It is beautifully illustrated as the oncoming of a great whiteness like a bare sheet of paper.
Rufus Dayglo did the finishes for issue #36. The back of the volume has samples of the layouts from that issue from Peter Gross and I like comparing both styles. I absolutely love the fluid work of Peter Gross, but there's a nice grit to Rufus' work that really suits Pauly's character and story. Yuko Shimizu's covers continue to be gorgeous. There's a nice theme that runs through this collection with the imagery of melting, reflecting the wound from the stories and from Leviathan.
I liked the prophesying unicorn. It's creepy what's happening to Richie and fascinating, too, because he wants to be the star of his own story and not continue to be the side-kick in Tom's story. It's been really great the way all the parts to this story have been connecting and how it continues to grow. This is a really great book to read.