"A.D. After Death" Book One from Image Comics -
Death is no more. Humanity has found a cure for the ultimate ailment and is now free to live forever...If "free" is the word for it. One man, Jonah Cooke, is meandering through the first millennia of his immortality, tending to his assignments, and pondering the loss of his loved ones, and the trajectory that his own life has taken. And he steals things. All sorts of things. Things that remind him of important moments in life, moments that can never be recovered, moments that mark brighter spots in the endless stream of time, a stream in which he is doomed to swim forever and ever. Jonah also looking for signs of life in the world below, the world once inhabited by man, now gone except for the survivors, the ones who were able to ingest the cure. Jonah is tormented by his past, trapped in his present, and burdened by the part he played in gifting man with eternal life. Eternity and madness collide in "A.D. After Death."
"A.D. After Death" Book One comes from the brilliant minds of Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire - it is not really a comic book, neither is it a prose work - rather, it is a magnificent hybrid that ensnares the reader from the very first page. This is a melancholy, pensive, work that at times threatens to suffocate the reader beneath the weight of its sadness and longing. In fact, those are indeed the best words to describe the protagonist, Jonah Cooke, and the book itself, "full of sadness and longing." The story is mostly told in the first person by Jonah, describing his struggle with death, as he is forever trapped in the moments of the loss of his beloved mother and his unborn sibling, crushed beneath the weight of knowing life would end. He was once obsessed with capturing those ephemeral, ebullient moments for when the inevitable dark days descended - it is the reason he stole his first tape recorder; now, Jonah steals things to remember bright moments in a life that will never come to an end. Quite a sharp contrast. There has always been a gaping hole in Jonah's life, first caused by the fear of death, now caused by the eternal ache of an endless life. I cannot wait to find out what part he played in freeing man from death, and what he hopes to find in the world below. Snyder's mournful tale is communicated perfectly by Lemire's equally mournful artwork, all done in Lemire's signature watercolors. "A.D. After Death" Book One is not a comic
for everyone - no capes and tights - just a haunting, character-driven science fiction tale that stays with you after the back cover closes and the journey is done. This book asks us to think about what is actually more horrifying, death or a life without end? Brilliant.
RATING: 9 out of 10. Are there tears in Heaven? Snyder and Lemire whisper the answer: "yes."
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