Under The Guidance Of Snakes In Animosity #20

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Jesse and Sandor are invited to a meeting on an old estate. Both are wary that it could be a trap of some kind, and their guide isn’t helping to assuage those concerns. Upon arriving at the house, Jesse and Sandor find that it is full of snakes. Jesse and Sandor are concerned at first, but the snakes make it clear that they don’t intend to hurt the two of them. They merely seek knowledge. They have long searched for the reason behind the awakening that brought sentience and speech to the animals, but they’ve yet to find an answer. The snakes hope Jesse may have the answer for them.

Animosity #20 cover by Rafael de Latorre and Marcelo Maiolo
Animosity #20 cover by Rafael de Latorre and Marcelo Maiolo

Animosity #20 finds Jesse and Sandor on a strange trip that ends in a literal snake nest. Our heroes are roped into a voracious search for knowledge and discovery pertaining to the Awakening.

A detail that stuck out as quite clever is the fact that the snakes know their own religious and mystical significance across cultures, and this gives them a sense of purpose. It also feeds their search for reason, as they feel that it is their role to research the Awakening.

That said, there is an uneasy air throughout the comic that adds a lot to it too. Jesse and Sandor have an almost instinctual distrust of the snakes, and the demeanor of the snakes doesn’t help. We are also keyed into the fact that they may have committed numerous unethical acts in the past. Despite that, their request seems genuine, and Jesse wants to know the truth behind the Awakening too.

Animosity #20 art by Elton Thomasi, Rob Schwager, and letterer Taylor Esposito
Animosity #20 art by Elton Thomasi, Rob Schwager, and letterer Taylor Esposito

Elton Thomasi’s artwork is quite good. It layers on texture and detail to the world around Jesse and Sandor, and the means by which one panel leads into the next is extremely clever. Rob Schwager’s color art is deep and atmospheric too, and it does a lot for the reader perception of the tone of the narrative.

Animosity #20 is another great installment of the long-lived AfterShock series. Marguerite Bennett shows that she still has passion and drive to push the series into interesting new places, and I’m left eager for the next issue once again. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.

Animosity #20 comes to us from writer Marguerite Bennett, artist Elton Thomasi, color artist Rob Schwager, letterer Taylor Esposito, and cover artist Rafael de Latorre with Marcelo Maiolo.

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