Ward, Malachi – Ritual #2: The Reverie

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Ritual #2: The Reverie

I’ll occasionally read a comic and it just reaches out and punches me right in the heart. Which isn’t a bad thing, as if you’re not affected at all then a comic isn’t doing its job, but be warned: if you’re looking for a lighthearted romp, go elsewhere. This one starts off with a day in the life of a young boy and his sister, waiting on the couch for their dad to get home after one of them has broken a clock. We see the dad pull up, then we’re transported to a scene three years later of his dad working on a project in his garage. The transition is jarring, but keep reading, as it all pays off in the end. Keep reading the comic, that is, as it’s not like I’m going to spoil the ending for you, or even much of what leads up to it. From here we see the dad working on a much more complicated project five years later, the death of a crucial family member four years later, and the effect on the family (still) six years later. From here we finally get to the meaning of the title, and here’s where it gets tricky in regards to spoilers. I will point out that the first story segment is listed as 2009, so if you do the math you can see that it stretches out well into the future, meaning that you can expect some fantastical hypotheticals. Which is great! I’m all for thoughtful science fiction, and there isn’t enough of it out there in comics, what with the necessity for lengthy comic series to tell the stories and the uncertainty of having a consistent publishing schedule. What’s most important (arguably) in this comic is what’s left unsaid, as we see these people for very brief snippets over the course of years and have to fill in the blanks ourselves as to what’s happened to them. That conclusion was absolutely haunting, and it left me feeling like the “hero” of the book made the wrong choice, even though you could go at it from a different angle and conclude that that was really the only choice available to him. This Malachi Ward fellow is clearly somebody to keep an eye on, and he’s on my list of people to finance (and/or bribe into giving up his day job and only making comics) if I should ever happen upon a giant pile of money. No price listed, but the first issue of this series (which isn’t really connected to this one in terms of story) was $6, so let’s go with that.

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