Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Vertigo Comics (DC Comics)
Carey, Gross & Davidson
Unwritten is a series that weaves characters into literature. It finds the line of real-life-type characters walking into and out of fictional stories, some of which actually exist like Moby Dick. However, every once in a while Carey dishes out a story that is submerged in the land of fiction with none of the real-life-like characters (like Tom Taylor). This issue is one of those issues and it is simply brilliant. Carey brings back a dirty rabbit, named Pauly, from a previous one-shot, in what turns out to be a funny and clever story that has an exceptional ending.
Basically, this issue is about a pack of animals, some of which are from existing fiction, that are trying to find the happy ending through the golden door. The pack is making their up a winding staircase. However, it’s not just a staircase. It’s a long one, one that takes years to navigate that is littered with enemies, traps and doors. Once in a while a new character will escape their own world through one of these doors and join the quest to find the magic door.
After the general introduction of the characters and the dangers they face, Pauly makes his entrance. Pauly is an angry and spiteful rabbit. It seems he’s been taken from his “normal” fictional story (presumably by Taylor) and put in situations he doesn’t really want to be in. He seems to be the only character that is fully self-aware of everything that is going on around him. Eventually Pauly becomes ingrained in the group looking for the golden door. Pauly has a lot to teach the others and generally speaking, he’s not the best mentor because everything he does has a secondary agenda. This makes issue all the more compelling.
The issue is a terrific read for a few key reasons. First of all, the hero (or anti-hero) of Pauly is so volatile that the reader really is never sure of what he will do or what his intentions are. Pauly is simply a very complex character but he has charisma that makes him something that is difficult to take your eyes off of. Secondly, this issue has such a simple premise but branches within just twenty pages to lay out a very good story that has lasting groundwork put down for future stories. Finally, the comic book is self contained. You don’t need to know one thing about this series at all to pick this issue up and understand and enjoy it.
The artwork is tremendous. Pauly is depicted perfectly. He looks like a crazy and dirty rabbit just as he should. The scenes are beautifully drawn from end to end. Whether it’s the battle or just the overall famine of the main cast, the issue is an amazing visual story.
The bulk of this series is about something that you will not find in this issue. It’s a risk to pick this issue up cold because next issue isn’t going to have Pauly in it or anything like this story. However, the overall theme of having literature toy with characters that are supposed to be something other than words on pages of a book is as prevalent here as in any other issue. I enjoyed this book very much and I definitely recommend this if you are looking for something out of the ordinary. That, and Pauly will most likely make you laugh a couple of times in the process.
5 out of 5 Geek Goggles