The art’s less bad this issue. I’m not sure there’s any improvement from Niko Walter, but there’s less he’s bad at drawing in the story this time. Less people talking. He seriously flubs one of the conversations to the point I thought I’d gotten all the characters names wrong, not just didn’t know one of them for the first two issues. The action this time is real Deliverance, with the regular fellas out of their element rafting to escape the bad guys.
Though it reminds more of Jurassic Park (the book, not the movie—or was it eventually in one of the movies) because they run into sea creatures. But no other wildlife. And also no dueling banjos.
There’s a lot of back and forth as the issue progresses about what they’re going to do when they escape; Duncan, the alpha Burt Reynolds, doesn’t want to report anything. Vince and Max, the interchangeable not-Duncan guys, argue about it. It’s a problem them being interchangeable because Vince is the narrator and Max has a mustache. There’s just no characterization to them, which isn’t Walter’s fault. Mann’s has gone long enough there’s only so much writer Victor Gischler can do to keep ahead of the building problems and the fact the characters are translucently thin hits this issue.
Most disturbingly, there’s only one issue left. I thought it was a five issue limited series, which would have made more sense with the first couple issues’ pacing. While a big thing happens this issue, it’s not big to the reader or even to the characters. It’s a fake big thing, because everything’s so thin there can’t be real big things.
It’s a brisk read and Walter’s nature art’s superior to his people action art and there’s a lot of nature here, but World is clearly in for a rough finish.