Danny Comes Home In Gideon Falls #16

by Brendan M. Allen

“All Those little Scars” The pulse-pounding conclusion to “Season 3” of the hottest supernatural horror story in comics! Clara is finally reunited with her missing brother, Danny—but The Laughing Man doesn’t give up his acolytes without a bloody battle!

We’ve established already that “Norton” isn’t Norton, yeah? The real Norton Sinclair is some psychotic killer from another time in Gideon Falls’ long, bizarre history. This Norton is really Clara’s missing little brother Danny, who was swept off into a third timeline when he was a kid and has no recollection of Clara, Doc, or his own true identity.

Gideon Falls #16 opens up way back when, in Clara’s timeline, before Danny disappeared. The two siblings are climbing trees, being kids, when Danny catches his first glimpse of the Laughing Man. Flash forward to Clara’s storyline present, and Danny/Norton is back, grown, and confused.

The pacing of Gideon Falls has been maddeningly brilliant. Jeff Lemire has teased out just enough information to keep readers engaged, while keeping the nature of the Black Barn and the creepy mystery of the Laughing Man just out of reach. By the end of this chapter, we will FINALLY have some resolution. Not resolution, exactly. A better idea of what’s going on and how Danny/Norton plays into the Laughing Man’s design. 

The artwork is, well, it’s Gideon Falls. Andrea Sorrentino and Dave Stewart have created an aesthetic that is dynamically unique to this story and continues to evolve with the script. Sorrentino continues to play around quite a bit with layout, panels, and gutters, torquing up the visual tension as reality continues to fracture and twist.

Connections are being made. The Laughing Man (Can I call him The Fiend and cue up some Code Orange already?) is trying to find a work-around, since Danny/Norton isn’t exactly cooperating. Things are coming together. Finally. Sort of. Probably not in the way you expected. Man, I love this book.

Gideon Falls #16, Image Comics, released 14 August 2019. Created by Jeff Lemire (script) and Andrea Sorrentino (art), color by Dave Stewart, letters/design by Steve Wands, variant cover by Ray Fawkes, edits by Will Dennis.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.

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