Hmm… I don’t like Pugh’s cliffhanger. I get the need for it, to establish the bad guys of this series as the mercenaries–not just incompetent but evil (did Pugh write this issue before or after Obama renewed Blackwater’s contract?)–but it’s not a solid ending.
The issue opens with this amazing one-page retelling of the previous series. Pugh’s artwork is so meticulous, so perfect, it’s the ideal way to enter the new series, to acclimate.
Then the series alternates its pace between action and reflection. Pugh really handles it well, given he didn’t start as a writer; his structure suggests otherwise. He manages a bunch of flashbacks, three separate present day story threads and more.
The key, and the reason the cliffhanger disappoints, is Alice. She’s such a solid lead, taking the ending away from her, even for two pages, leaves the issue unstable.
Still very good though.