From The Frying Pan Into The Fifth Circle Of Hell With Cemetery Beach #3

by Brendan M. Allen

President Barrow has created his perfect society on an alien world. It’s been running smoothly for a hundred years. But now he needs to catch Mike Blackburn before he can get back to Earth and tell them what it’s built on.

That chase that began way back on the first page of this series? We’re still doing that. In Cemetery Beach #3, Mike and Grace continue running, and running, and running from President Barrow’s goons. Dodging bullets and grenades may be the least of Mike’s worries, though.

We get a little more exposition in this chapter, through quick breathless conversations between Mike and Grace, but Warren Ellis doesn’t really advance the story much. It’s a lot more of the same. Danger, danger, run, run, keep running, into more danger. We do get to meet a few of the locals and get a slightly wider perspective on the twisted dystopian class system. There’s also something very, very strange about this planet itself, but that’s pretty much where we were at the end of the last chapter.
Jason Howard shoulders most of the weight in this installment. With the relative lack of dialogue, the action has to be fierce and weird. Quick and dirty. Slick and violent. It’s all those things. It’s interesting to look at and easy to follow. It’s the best thing about this particular chapter.

I’m not sure where I’m at with Cemetery Beach after this installment. The first chapter busted out of the gates with an insane escape, a chase, and a one-sided firefight. The second chapter fleshed out the first a little, but didn’t make a lot of headway on advancing the plot. Now, it really kind of feels like the first three chapters could have been pared down into a single issue. I’m entertained. I just can’t pin down where this thing is headed and we’re nearly halfway through.

Cemetery Beach #3, Image Comics, released 14 Nov 2018. Written by Warren Ellis, art by Jason Howard, letters by Fonografiks.

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