COMIC REVIEW: Symmetry #4 – One More Time Around | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Symmetry #4 – One More Time Around

By Buddy Beaudoin

COMIC REVIEW: Symmetry #4 - One More Time Around

Writer: Matt Hawkins

Artists: Raffaele Ienco, Troy Peteri

$3.99

Image/Top Cow

Symmetry, a gorgeous collaboration between Image and Top Cow, lives in a world where Utopia is broken by a natural disaster. This fourth issue concludes the first arc, and wraps itself back around to the very opening pages of the series to give the reader a look at its surreptitious beginnings.

COMIC REVIEW: Symmetry #4 - One More Time Around

Symmetry #4 (2016) – Page 7

Hawkins’ story hops between a few days after the solar flare event, and a few years after, narrated all the while by the main character, Michael, in a series of recordings made for his yet to be born daughter. The duality, both in setting and character, of this story is something that is illustrated immaculately by artist Raffaele Ienco. Using a digital brush stroke method, his art resembles highly detailed oil paintings. This method also allows him to overlay crisp digital lines that gently remind the reader that this is all in the future. What’s so perfect about it for this series is the way the art changes the tone of the story depending on which timeframe we’re reading. If you go back and read the first issue again, or even just look at the pages that reflect upon it in this issue, there’s a noticeable change in the tone of the setting represented in the art. As society breaks down, Ienco’s art becomes darker, with edgier line work. The characters are now adorn with scars, and tactical clothing – they’re battle hardened, and so is the world around them. In this way, Ienco is perfectly reflecting the narrative inherent in Hawkins’ script.

The main focus in this issue is in the relationship of SOL to all the events that have happened from the first issue to where we are now. In the future scenes, Maricela and Michael have tracked down SOL’s main location to turn the tide of the resistance and destroy the computer consciousnesses once and for all. What happens instead is SOL’s truth. He greets Marciela and Michael at his laser guarded entrance, and begins to speak his truth in the events that have unfolded in the four years since the solar flare event.

COMIC REVIEW: Symmetry #4 - One More Time Around

Symmetry #4 – Page 10

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This takes us back to just a few days after the event. In the previous issue, Sharon, an elder member of The Council, poisoned the food of the four event survivors. However, only herself and Matthew ate the food, leaving Michael and Maricela completely healthy. This sets off the series of events that we saw in the opening issue, with the group running through a city square towards the docks as they’re chased by a mob of apparently dubious androids. This is where we see Matthew die in the beginning, and this is where we begin to question the nature of the Utopia. Knowing what we know now, that Matthew sacrificed himself for the good of Michael and Maricela, this scene becomes entirely more powerful both now, and in the story’s beginning.

The narration in this scene is key to what’s being set up for the following arc. Michael informs us that all the while, everything that happened, was set up by SOL. SOL led the robots to them, purposefully pushed them towards the docks, and then let them escape. As we move back to the future scenes, SOL promises to protect Michael and Maricela and preserve the life of their unborn daughter – the first interracial human to be born in hundreds of years.

COMIC REVIEW: Symmetry #4 - One More Time Around

Symmetry #4 – Page 15

While all of this is happening, we’re given brief scenes of The Council. They’re rounding up survivors of the event and putting them into an entirely closed off community, where they will never be in contact with normal society. They’re doing this with the help of SOL, who is effectively running the show for them. With everything that this issue sets up for the second arc, it is becoming clear that SOL may be the leader of the resistance – that these survivors that are being removed from society may become his soldiers, or at the very least, made aware of what The Council has done to them all of these years.

The issue closes with Michael leaving Maricela with The Latins, driven away by the will of their society. This is tragic and open-ended finale is enough to make the reader anxious for the following arc, which is slated to begin in June. In the meantime, it is worth going back and reading the after notes in each issue that Hawkins provides to the reader as a means of coming to grips with the story, allowing them to dig a little deeper into the meaning behind everything. A quick study may give some pointed clues as to the nature of the following arc.

COMIC REVIEW: Symmetry #4 - One More Time Around

Symmetry #4 – Page 22

The “Best There Is:” Hawkins’ story wraps around itself, giving us some great insight into the opening scenes of the story while providing the foundation for the arc to come. Ienco’s art is masterful, and his character acting and set design are a stellar representation of the narrative at hand.

The “Not Very Nice:” With so much set up and conclusion, it would have been nice to see some more of The Council and their interactions with SOL. As of now, their intentions are clear, but how they will play out is not. Some insight into that would have been welcome.

FBI Score: 9 out of 10. If you’re not reading Symmetry, you’re missing out. From the top notch world building down the the after notes in each issue, this title is gorgeous and complete. Hawkins and Ienco represent a collective talent approaching 50 years in comics, and boy, does that experience shine through in every page.  

Buddy Beaudoin

Buddy Beaudoin is a writer and independent comic creator from Upstate, NY. He's a fan of tea, spacey music, and a nice pair of slacks. He LOVES comics. Batman, Swamp Thing, and Jonah Hex are some favorites, but he's also a pretty big fan of the indies. Should you ever need him, walk outside and yell his name loudly...

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