GIDEON FALLS #3 is the next chapter in the epic horror surrounding The Black Farm. The writing and pacing is nearly perfect, and the artwork is the greatest highlight of the issue. Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino continue to produce greatness, and each page turned leaves your heart beating faster.
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The Suspense Continues!
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GIDEON FALLS #3 continues the eerie horror story of The Black Barn. Taking place soon after issue #2, Lemire begins this issue focusing on Father Fred. What quickly unravels is a comic that slowly reveals more and more pieces to this bizarre puzzle. What’s the connection between Fred and Norton? What really happened to Father Tom? And who is this Doctor Sutton? Jeff Lemire touches upon these questions in GIDEON FALLS #3, and with stellar artwork delivered by Andrea Sorrentino and David Stewart, you can be sure this is a comic you don’t want to miss.

What Exactly is Real?

The two main plot points of GIDEON FALLS #3 deal with Norton and Doctor Xu discussing The Black Barn and Father Fred trying to wrap his head around the idea of a man like Father Tom committing murder. Both of these concepts leave readers skeptical. With Norton and Doctor Xu, it’s unclear if Norton is a man a bit out of his head and seeing things, or if he’s truly onto something. Lemire presents Norton as a character that readers may sympathize with as well as look down with disdain.

Image courtesy of Image Comics

At the end of issue #2, Doctor Xu does see The Black Barn. She actually goes to Norton’s to tell him just this. I found this odd and a bit out of character. However, Doctor Xu quickly corrects herself. She is simply admitting to witnessing Norton’s visions. She doesn’t necessarily believe it to be real. It could be a shared psychosis, she explains. While Norton goes on and on about how it all must be real, and that Doctor Xu does in fact believe it to be so, I like how Lemire still presents her as a skeptical doctor. She’s too pragmatic to let a visualization completely alter her view on everything.

Father Fred: A Very Real Character

And then there’s Father Fred: a man with with a troubled past who is trying to write a sermon after the revelation that Father Tom murdered Gene Tremblay. What winds up happening is a very human speech, one where the idea of God letting such a tragedy occur is presented as such an oddity. But then Father Fred talks about how these events usually rip communities apart when they need to bring them together. They must rally alongside one another.

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After this sermon, Fred meets Joe, a school bus driver we briefly saw in GIDEON FALLS #1. Joe is the man who gives a bizarre smile and wave as Fred first drives into town. Joe introduces his wife, Janet, and the two invite him over to his farm. He does this kind of slyly, you can feel he has something up his sleeve with the way Sorrentino draws his demeanor. These drawings are crucial. While Lemire’s dialogue is sophisticated and straightforward, at time it’s a bit butchered and unemotional.

But Father Fred doesn’t actually go to Joe’s house. Instead, he winds up at Doctor Sutton’s, whose bizarre appearance and message leaves us readers to believe we’ve got quite the religious horror on our hands. Mixing the supernatural with Christ is quite the feat, and I’m curious where Lemire plans on going with it.

The Artwork of GIDEON FALLS #3

Image courtesy of Image Comics

But Lemire isn’t the only thing that makes GIDEON FALLS #3 so good. The writing is stellar, but the artwork from Sorrentino and Stewart is also incredible on every panel. Sorrentino depicts these characters of Gideon Falls with such life and trauma. You can sense the heavy burden everyone holds, from Norton to Fred to the sheriff. And then there’s his individual niche, his usage of highlighting specific areas in his work.

At one point Doctor Xu enters Norton’s laboratory. Right before this, Norton describes his paranoia and the multiple traps he’s laid in place to avoid any future intrusions. This is where Sorrentino shines: as Norton describes the glass shards set up underneath a weak floorboard that “will easily cut through the soles of most shoes or boots,” Sorrentino circles the shards in the picture. And when Norton explains the explosive compound in the window panels, Sorrentino highlights those as well.

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David Stewart’s colors are great in these panels. His bloody red in the highlighted areas really draw the eye to them. But this is juxtaposed against gritty earthy colors that makeup the rest of Norton’s apartments. The entire scene feels as if a storm is occurring, both outside and inside Norton’s mind.

What to Expect Next

I absolutely loved this issue. GIDEON FALLS is setting itself up to be one of the best titles of 2018. The world coming out of Jeff Lemire’s head is unlike anything being produced right now. The artwork from Andrea Sorrentino and David Stewart is as eerie as could be, and that’s simply perfect for a comic like this.

If you’ve been waiting for the trade to get into this series, I’d highly suggest skipping that idea and purchasing the first two issues so you can enjoy the ride this week with GIDEON FALLS #3.

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