Previously: Hadrian’s Wall #6
With just one more issue to go, Hadrian’s Wall turns the action up to 11, finally answers some of its biggest questions, and manages to set up its finale for what promises to be an intense issue next month.
Okay, so the previous issue ended on quite the cliffhanger revelation: the Thetan rebels’ plan is to blow up Earth. Yeah, heavy stuff. It led to so many questions: How are they going to do that? How are they going to be stopped? Would they really do that? Why would they do that? You get the point. What we get in this issue, of course, are answers to those questions and more. So much more.
First, the action. This has not been a series filled with exciting fights or gun play–you can find that stuff in the creative team’s previous effort C.O.W.L.–this series has been more of a slow-burning detective story. In fact, one of the most intense moments of Hadrian’s Wall, so far, had been when Simon realized his pills had been poured down the drain. In this issue, though, things take a flying leap forward. You’ve got running, you’ve got fights, you’ve got guns: all being strewn across the page by artists Rod Reis and Eduardo Ferigato. So much fun.
As for the plot, this issue offers plenty of developments there. I’m not going to enumerate the answers here; you can read the issue for that. What I will do is commend Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel for something I know I had not really considered until it was all but spelled out in this issue, and that’s the fact the Thetan Rebels trying to free themselves from Earth plays pretty well as a metaphor for breaking up, or divorce, or just leaving a relationship, especially if you feel like it’s toxic for you. Looking back on the narrative of this series, all the pieces have been there thematically; I just never stopped to consider the correlation of these two seemingly disparate plots taking place alongside each other. It felt so obvious when this issue uses Annabelle to openly suggest the connection, but I just missed it until now.
As usual, the artwork is exceptional. Obviously, given the amount of action the plot provides, we also get to see that action brought to life by Rod Reis and Eduardo Ferigato. In previous reviews, I’ve mentioned the feeling I had about the color choices made for this series. My observation was basically that the flashbacks on Earth seemed to use a warmer color palette than the colder one chosen for scenes taking place on the ship in the present day. Now, I have not combed through every issue to see if this actually holds true; it’s more of a sense I got while reading each issue from month-to-month. Because I had that thought in my mind, however, I couldn’t help but notice some warm colors sneaking into this issue, as we see Simon and Annabelle not only work together but actually make a great team. I may be crazy, and none of that may have been an intentional art choice, but I like thinking it was, anyway.
With the series winding down, I was wondering if it would ever truly have a villain. To this point, everyone had intentionally been played fairly neutral. Some people did good things, and some did bad things, but they have more-or-less been simply human. It’s not often regular, everyday people commit acts of true villainy, you know? Up to now, even the Thetan Rebels seemed to have legitimate reasons (planning to blow up the Earth, notwithstanding). In this issue, though, the lines are pretty clearly drawn, and it’s terrific.
Lastly, this issue’s back matter is full of great letters from fans not only applauding the series but also answering Kyle Higgins’ prompt he placed in the previous issue asking people to reveal their top three space movies. Lots of love for Event Horizon, interestingly. Anyway, for the sake of joining the fun, you’ll find my list below, and I hope to find you back here next month when Hadrian’s Wall comes to its conclusion.
3. Apollo 13.
Hadrian's Wall #7
"Untitled Second Arc: Part 3 of 4"
Hadrian’s Wall #7 | Story: Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel | Artist: Rod Reis, with Eduardo Ferigato | Letters: Troy Peteri | Design: Rich Bloom | Editor: Matt Idelson | Cover: Rod Reis | Publisher: Image Comics