Published on August 20th, 2015 | by Lauren McPhee0
Roche Limit: Clandestiny #4 – Review
Following on from the story and world building of issues 2 and 3, Roche Limit: Clandestiny #4 brings us largely to the far side of the mystery; all that remains is the final stretch to conclude the second cycle of this anomalous series. In the absence of a review of issue 3 (my failing), let me first remark on a few things.
It is revealed that the forest or magic of Roche Limit has a way of making you relive or inhabit your greatest desire or regret, similar to the effects of the drug, Recall. The question posed in issue 3 is whether or not a situation or experience that feels real, and has all the quality and texture of reality, can then be counted as real? Or should even be desirable? The Roche Limit colony is once again presented as a place of fantasy and deception through the seduction of our dreams and ideals, and ultimately doomed to tragedy. Because no matter how powerful our belief in our epitomes, principles and visions, they are inherently corrupted by our selfishness and single-mindedness; such things, manifested in an imperfect world, are not sustainable. They have to crack somewhere.
As Langford is quoted, ‘You’re not choosing the right reality for yourselves’.
Issue 4, then, written by Michael Moreci, with art by Kyle Charles and Matt Battaglia, continues the story wherein the monster of deceptions upon Roche Limit will be carried back to Earth by the spaceship built piece by piece by the last thirteen expeditions. Sasha, Elbus, Colt, Danny and Langford’s consciousness are all that are left to stop Stockton’s materialised dead twin from launching the ship back to Earth. The black, liquid-steel, creatures of horror, meanwhile, stand in their way. It makes for a good fire show as the company blasts their way through the city.
Pacing itself very well, the issue manages most of its exposition and philosophising in the prelude, leaving the rest of the issue for action and impact. As usual, the prelude is still my favourite part; Langford’s narration – this time to Sasha – matches tone for tone with the pitiful progression of his life, death amongst the stars, and rueful afterlife. The colours of his fall through space, the series’ purple tone and the anomaly’s hard and bright yellow, mark the contrast of the inescapable realisation of this own failed reality.
The next panel, Langford facing Sasha, has a heavy border of white and is coloured in soft, neutral blues, as Langford effectively hands his role in the book over to Sasha; Langford’s downloaded personality is nothing more than an echo, anyway. He is ethereal, while Sasha represents solid possibility. It’s not enough to destroy the means of the Earth’s destruction – the ship – while the will of MoiraTech goes assailed. Kill the monster. Kill the object of their will. Save the world. The series’ tones reassert themselves by the end of the scene: the blues, pinks and purples of a mournful world, poisoned by its own longings.
The rest of the issue depicts, mostly, the soiled destruction of the old colony. The team need to pass through in order to reach the spaceship, hunted by creatures whose weakness is fire. The art creates a solid conception of space and progression, dynamic in its depiction of action and clear in its construction of characters. Despite the dark pallet of colour, at times, there is always a clear delineation between foreground and background, action and inaction, which prevents the images from being weighed down. Especially with the creatures, there is a striking sense of erratic movement, but also in moments of character action as well. A sudden contrast in bright and dark colours, often contributed to flamethrowers, adds an intensity to these moments.
This issue is probably the liveliest in the series so far, but has been well built up to through the conception of horror and mystery tropes. After passing through the forest last issue, the action here comes as a catharsis, as the characters are finally able to strike back physically at the monsters that have assailed them throughout. Next issue, we’ll conclude the end of this second arc by revisiting the Black Sun and I can honestly say I don’t know what to expect. However, Roche Limit: Clandestiny #4 has very effectively tied things together for both the series and the larger story through the reappearance of Langford and reassertion of the anomaly as at the heart of the series.