The issue reads a little like “Wilson Taylor: Year One.” Gross and Carey give him a decent origin story, set in the trenches of World War I. Carey concentrates on the soldiers’ experience, hitting all the effective standards, but making them tie into Unwritten.
Actually, the questions he raises about stories, perceptions and reality during war are really interesting ones. He probably could get a decent limited series out of the concepts.
Gary Erskine’s art is good. The battlefields are either obviously frightening or Erskine just infers it. There’s a lot of refocusing but Erskine makes Taylor distinct enough to stand out.
The comic has a haunting quality. Even with all the magic, nothing compares to the lunacy of the war. Carey nicely lets Taylor revolt to jar the reader into paying attention. It’s a very serious issue. I don’t think Carey even goes for a smile. Well, maybe one.
The Whisper Line; writers, Peter Gross and Mike Carey; artist, Gary Erskine; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Joe Hughes and Karen Berger; publisher, Vertigo.