COMIC REVIEW: Unfollow #5 – We Are 138 | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Unfollow #5 – We Are 138

By Buddy Beaudoin

COMIC REVIEW: Unfollow #5 - We Are 138

Writer: Rob Williams

Artists: Michael Dowling, Quinton Winter, Clem Robins


Vertigo Comics

Unfollow is one of those books, that much like the show LOST, has that ending that always seems to drive it home. There’s always that scene at the end that keeps you hanging on for another month, and as this series progresses, the endings get bigger and bigger. Though Unfollow #5 has that big shock ending that’s got fans gritting their teeth until April, issue number five is the Travis Pastrana of Unfollow issues – it hits ramp, after ramp, after ramp.

COMIC REVIEW: Unfollow #5 - We Are 138

Unfollow #5 – Page 3

First of all, while Williams writes gorgeously for this series, the art team is so good at playing this thing out. There’s a certain cinematography to it that makes every character thoroughly unique, engaging, and enjoyable. I find myself even stopping to notice the placing of the word bubbles, and how Robins manages to tuck them under panel borders as to not interfere with the story his own letters are telling. There’s a delicate sense of detail by Dowling and Winter. The ink and line work is not as pronounced as some series that aim for hyper-realism. They tow this line perfectly between being real enough to relate and being washed enough to remind you it’s a work of fiction, and it really adds a lot to the narrative.

In terms of story ramp, the first character to speak to in this issue is the Cheetah that keeps plaguing Dave – the one that has convinced him he’s hallucinating. The best thing about this scene, is that when it speaks, it’s nowhere near Dave, adding an entirely new element to the story and developing a character that was mainly in the background until now.

COMIC REVIEW: Unfollow #5 - We Are 138

Unfollow #5 – Page 8

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While the opening scene doesn’t follow Dave, most of the rest of the issue does. In fact, while the other characters are there, they mainly play bit parts for the purposes of this issue. Bringing Dave to the forefront actually works out really well. From the very first issue, it was clear that he was going to mean something to the series. This issue all but cements his role as the character that moves the plot forward. When all of the characters leave Ferrell’s island, it’s Dave that the book follows on his journey back to the states.

While Dave is meaningful to this issue, perhaps the most vital character is Ferrell. While he’s never featured in the pages, his death is the thing that sparks everyone leaving the island. It also serves as the catalyst for the man in the mask to finally reveal himself as it turns out, he’s in charge now, and his name is Rubinstein. While it has been made very clear that Ferrell was going to die, an idea that’s the bedrock of the series, putting Mr. Rubinstein in charge could be a huge twist for the series. He’s a much for volatile character, and with the idea being that the 140 (or now 138) are to be killing each other to earn a bigger part of Ferrell’s inheritance, he seems a likely character to lead that charge rather than to just lean back and spectate.

COMIC REVIEW: Unfollow #5 - We Are 138

Unfollow #5 – Page 14

Rubinstein points a gun to Dave’s head and asks him if he’ll be the hunter or the hunted. That scene, while it seemed like just grandstanding at the time, lead to this issue’s big bang ending. Dave is back home, losing his mind to cocaine and his over inflated bank account. What he doesn’t see, is that the thugs that have been toying with him since early issues are now plotting to kill him and take his earnings. They send a woman his way as a distraction, and while he’s indisposed in an alleyway, they sneak up to take him out. Luckily for Dave, cocaine has made him very jumpy, and he’s able to fight them off and escape. As he runs, he’s reminded of Rubinstein’s words, and of the fact that he’s been carrying a pistol the whole time. Unluckily for Dave, cocaine has made him very jumpy, and by the time he gets the gun out to take a shot, it’s his own sister that he shoots through the gut as she comes out to check on her little brother.

COMIC REVIEW: Unfollow #5 - We Are 138

Unfollow #5 – Page 23

The issue ends with Dave in the hospital, waiting to hear news on his sibling and protector. To cap things off, the cheetah is the last character to speak. Besides the obvious pulling at the heart strings, the outcome of this scene is likely going to be a deciding factor for the actions of Dave’s character in the following issues. If his sister does not survive, there’s no telling what wealth and an unsure mind are going to do to him – he’s got nobody looking out for him now.

The “Best There Is:” While this series has taken a lot of big steps forward in terms of development, this is the issue that makes it feel like the story has really begun. The first four issues did a great job at setting up what the premise of this book will be, but it’s clear that from now on, anything is fair game. That no holds barred method of storytelling combined with the art department that Vertigo has working on this thing is quickly making this comic one of the most interesting and entertaining reads in comics out there.

The “Not Very Nice:” Using Dave to push the story and the setting onward was a great character mechanic, but left so many characters misplaced. There are a lot of character story lines happening at this point. A few of them were touched on, but bigger mystery characters like the Deacon went without mention. After the events of the last issue, it would have been nice to get an inkling of his current circumstances.

FBI Score: 9 out of 10. Unfollow consistently makes itself one of the best books out there right now, and with the events of this book, it’s clear Williams has only given us a taste of what’s to come. The artists are magnificent, giving incredible life and individuality to each of the many characters living between the pages. Keep this book on your pull list!

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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