Comic Book Review: Unfollow #18


I’ve raved and raved about Unfollow and how beautifully this story has been told. So brutally tethered to everything we know to be wrong with our world. It was like looking into a mirror and seeing the reality of the age of social media we have allowed to consume us. So it is said to find ourselves here at the final issue. We all knew it was coming, but you just couldn’t have prepared yourself for all the loss that would lead us to this point where it was do or die at the hands of a man who truly has given up on humanity.

Unfollow #17 hit hard with every way that this story was reaching the end. Not only has every one of the 140 been slaughtered down to the final four, but one of those four have completely given in to the darkness that is Rubinstein’s mask. At that point you just know that this has to end with either the death of master of social media that is Larry Ferrell, or everyone else who stands in the way of him reclaiming his money back. The start of Unfollow #18 throws us straight into the fray as it should when Dave makes the decision to make it all or nothing to take out Ferrell. It was pretty crazy how it took up till this very last issue to figure out what was really going on with these voices talking to Dave. The jaguar spoke to him, the mask spoke to him. At a point you just took it for what it is and the conversation kept things interesting.

It was so very touching getting back to Courtney and Ravan. I wish there was more time to get into the point these two are at in their lives, though where we are left at was a tough pill to swallow because they are facing down that demon which makes them question the way they want to live and leave this world. You can kill all the 136 out there, but it stings when these four who we followed for so long, one by one fall to some crappy odds. It started with the loss of Deacon, and from there it didn’t get any easier. Heartbreaking is the word I would use and I appreciate that he made these losses mean something.

What I found so engaging was the monologue of Larry Ferrell throughout. This man is the villain, but how can someone so far in the wrong be so right? For all the hate you might have towards what he has done, you sit there forced to agree with every words he speaks that sings to what we refuse to accept about the world around us. I mean I’m impressed with Rob Williams in general because these are his words expressed through Larry Ferrell. It takes someone very awake to put these words and thoughts to paper the way he has. Most might be afraid to do these things for the backlash at being to political, but honestly screw that if you can’t say what people should be able to grasp. I do hope that I speak for enough when I say that it was a good thing that Ferrell wasn’t dead dead.

If there’s one thing you admire about Unfollow more than anything else, its that it can be easy to overlook the things right in front of you. It happened to me and by the end of the issue my jaw dropped because there was one thing from the start of this series that was quickly forgotten. It was so easy to get caught up in the “big picture” so to speak that the smallest danger slipped right by until it was right in your face.

Up till the bitter end this art team delivered in breathing life into this world. Visually this story was engaging for the natural style to the world created. Going back to some of my first remarks about the artwork, the focus they put into grounding this worked for the kind of story told. Michael Dowling excelled in the way he captures these people who mirror everything about the way we ourselves fall victim to social media. Flaws and all. This very issue gave us a new perspective on this diverse cast and being able to see how far this world pushed them to change in order to survive. You could look angry and broken like Dave, full of regret like Ravan, or walking that line of hope like Courtney who finds her back against a wall. For this final issue, they did not hold our hands either in the fact that changed or not these are still people who what feels like yesterday would have never picked up a gun for the purpose of taking another life. Seeing the brutal reality of their situation against trained gunmen was harsh, though drove the message home. Now the colors from Quinton Winter I consistently admired for his natural selection in creating skin tones, textures, and bringing most of the outdoor scenery to life. Colors aren’t too heavy which was necessary for a series that is fairly dark in theme.

Unfollow will be missed. Who knows when another book will be this bold to hit us with the hard reality of the world we live in rather than mincing words. If you were looking for a happy ending, then this was the wrong book to turn to. Maybe there was some glimmer of hope, but even that is reaching when you’ve processed everything this story has put us through.

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