One of the most prolific comic book writers out there today is none other than Jeff Lemire. Many of his projects are creator-owned (see what he publishes with Image Comics, for example) while others are stories centered around long-standing heroes belonging to various publishers (e.g. Marvel or DC)! I went through a bunch of his work recently to see what they were all about and here we are! This might not actually be the last time you see me checking out his work though. 😉
This feature published at an undetermined frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, who knows) will present a couple of mini reviews on anything that isn’t a physical book that I own (ebooks, comic books, TV series or movies).
Anything presented in this feature doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t get a full-review treatment in the future. That will entirely depend on how much I loved it, how interested you are in hearing more on it, and how much I have to still say about it! 🤣
Sweet Tooth (Vol. 1): Out of the Deep Woods by Jeff Lemire.
What is it about? The story introduces readers to Gus, a child belonging to a rare breed that crosses human and animal genes. Growing up isolated from the world that has known an unknown pandemic for the last decade, his father dies one day and he’s left to fend for himself until a strange drifter by the name of Jepperd promises him to help him out.
You can tell that writer Jeff Lemire takes certain themes to heart in almost all of his comic book series after you’ve read a couple of them. In this one, he once again explores the intimate relationship between an older male authority over an innocent and naive child in this heart-wrenching post-apocalyptic tale where trust, justice, and betrayal are at the heart of the narrative.
The artwork requires some getting used to, but by the time you reach the cliffhanger ending, you just don’t have much of a choice but to let your curiosity be piqued by the direction writer Jeff Lemire takes for this story.
Gideon Falls (Vol. 1): The Black Barn by Jeff Lemire.
What is it about? This dual-narrative story introduces a mysterious barn that appears and disappears at random while dragging chaos and death into the lives of certain people along its way.
This one is interesting at first, building up the suspense as you try to understand the direction it’s heading and the story writer Jeff Lemire wants to tell, but once it really gets into the mythology behind the barn and the horror elements that are attached to it, it becomes too zany to be fully appreciated.
The artwork fits with the overall tone of the story and adds some very original structure to it that really gets psychedelic when you least expect it.
It’s hard to say if this premise can deliver but I’m not completely dissuaded by it all yet.
Family Tree (Vol. 1): Sapling by Jeff Lemire.
What is it about? A world veering towards an apocalypse where people turn into trees. It’s when an eight-year-old girl who slowly transforms into a tree that this fatherless family is pushed to the brink of panic. As they go on a journey to find a cure, they learn certain secrets held back by the father and the danger that is about to enter their lives.
The premise is interesting. Writer Jeff Lemire explores some fascinating ideas throughout this short story-arc but he more often teases rather than develops his world. Nothing is actually truly clear as to the motives of various characters either. You’re sort of blindly dragged into this relatively-dysfunctional family as the mother tries to understand what is going on to her daughter.
The artwork is interesting and a bit rough. It sort of fails to really capture any form of horror but it doesn’t feel like it fits writer Jeff Lemire’s story-telling style in the end.
Moon Knight (Vol. 1): Lunatic by Jeff Lemire.
What is it about? The story introduces us to Marc Spector/Jake Lockley/Steven Grant, a man with multiple names who fights criminals in New York as Moon Knight. This time around, he’s in an insane asylum and it’s time for him to figure out what’s real and what’s not.
Writer Jeff Lemire nails this take on Moon Knight. I am completely enthralled by the concept of the character and what he brings to the table. With artist Greg Smallwood’s artistic vision, this story-arc perfectly executes the suspense and mystery behind the persona. Is he really who he thinks he is? Who do you trust?
To top it off, the character is ingrained in Egyptian mythology and it is beautifully incorporated into the narrative. How every character fits Marc Spector’s vision of the world is mysteriously fascinating. There’s just so much potential to this.
Moon Knight (Vol. 2): Reincarnations by Jeff Lemire.
What is it about? This sequel offers the character the chance to fully embrace all of his different personalities as he goes on a trippy adventure where his mind slowly breaks down.
While still a solid exploration of multiple personas, this felt a bit clunkier in its attempt to depict the realities of Moon Knight’s character, but it is in the resolution and final act that the story gets back its signature style and narrative.
While it was fun to watch these stories take a life of its own, the narrative that went with them could have benefited from a bit more development to get things going.
Moon Knight (Vol. 3): Birth and Death by Jeff Lemire.
What is it about? This is the final chapter to writer Jeff Lemire’s run with the character and it offers an excellent story that fully wraps up who Moon Knight is.
This is brilliant. How he recreates the character, makes the story flow in a way that nothing is ever concrete and potentially ends by recreating the mind of this character is genius.
In this story-arc, he even dares give Moon Knight an origin story that allows him to become one with who he is as an individual forever stuck with a mental illness.
The artwork also returns to its glory days from the first volume and delivers a visual treat that truly gives this comic book run its own charm.