I still have my jaw open as I type my review for this issue.
Joe Hill's Rain #1 hits comic shops this Wednesday and, if you haven't read any comic yet this year, THIS is the one to start with!
From Image Comics and adapted by David M. Booher, Zoe Thorogood, and Chris O'Halloran, Rain is a limited series that focuses on the drama and horror of a world where the rain literally kills!
Thorogood's art stole me away the second I opened the book! If you're a fan of Filipe Andrade's art in The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, this book will catch your attention just like it did with me! Every speck of every page has a beautiful texture to it and the linework makes for an incredibly realistic image. Additionally, O'Halloran's pastel color pallet is glorious and soothing in its own right. The realistic and soothing art throughout this issue is a beautiful juxtaposition to the overall tone of the story. While everything is absolutely bright and sunny throughout the issue visually, it's anything but bright and sunny throughout the narration.
For those of you that aren't familiar with the original Rain, it's a novella that explores and challenges what we all hold most dear to ourselves in life. What happens when an apocalyptic event challenges not only everything you know about the ones you love but everything you know about yourself?
Booher's narration for our main character, Honeysuckle, is magnificent. I adore how much I can relate to her. It's like seeing yourself in a comic means something? Like, wow, it's so wonderful to feel like I'm represented! (I say this sarcastically but I also mean it sincerely!) If you've read anything else by Booher then you know he is magnificent at writing relatable, authentic, and charming narration and dialogue, and Rain is no exception to that.
As I mentioned above, the art and narration magnificently juxtapose each other in this first issue, and it makes for a brilliant composition. It reminds me of the musical The Last Five Years, where Jason Robert Brown intentionally wrote the musical from both characters' points of view- but from different points of time. The woman recounts the events backward (most recent to the start of the relationship) while the man recounts the events forward (start of the relationship to most recent). While I don't believe the juxtaposition is happening to that extent here, it's still a clever structure that reads very well. It continues to build the interest and heighten the stakes and Booher does a great job of writing it so that readers do not get confused.
I mentioned Ram V and Filipe Andrade's The Many Deaths of Laila Starr earlier and I want to bring it up again because... this is the first time, since The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, that a book has left me stunned, sitting in my chair, staring at the last page, thinking about my existence. Wow. Full credit to Joe Hill for the original story, but my goodness I do not think that this would be the same to me without Booher's adaptive abilities and Thorogood's art. Not that the original Rain was "missing" anything per se, but this takes the story to a whole other level. It's marvelous! It's an adaptation that I'm grateful we finally have!
And God help me as I continue to think about that last page for the next month until we get this next issue. My goodness, I think it's burned into my brain. Both haunting and exquisite in every way!
If you're a fan of heartwrenching stories like The Many Deaths of Laila Starr and horror stories like Something is Killing the Children, this MUST be on your pull list. Booher, Thorogood, and O'Halloran have intensified the magic that is Joe Hill's Rain, and you don't want to be caught in that storm! Run to your LCS, take cover, and grab your copy THIS WEDNESDAY 01/12/22!
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