Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Ollie Masters
Artist: Tyler Jenkins, Colin Bell (Letterer)
Release Date: 10th February 2016
With Teddy’s ongoing search for the truth taking a shockingly violent turn at the end of issue two, the penultimate chapter of Ollie Masters and Tyler Jenkins’ Snow Blind picks things up a week or so into the future. Frustratingly, this feels like a bit of a leap forwards in terms of the story, with the bulk of Teddy’s investigations taking place in the gap between the second and third issues, only really being summarised here as part of his ongoing journal. An unfortunate limitation of the four-issue series length, I guess, but I’d personally have loved to see these discoveries and realisations happening first hand, rather than merely seeing the lead character’s reactions to them after the fact.
That minor niggle aside, the issue is filled with exactly the same thought-provoking drama as the first two, and features the clearly conflicted Teddy struggling to come to terms with the truth behind his family’s past. With two wildly differing accounts of just how they ended up in Witness Protection, Teddy finds himself questioning everything, and while we do get a brief moment to experience things from his parents’ perspective here, the thrust of the narrative continues to be Teddy trying to deal with his growing guilt, anger and resentment.
Artist Tyler Jenkins continues to give this series an aesthetic like nothing else on the shelves today with his blend of scratchy, uneven linework and gorgeously chaotic watercolours. While it’s definitely an unconventional approach, and could potentially alienate some readers, I think it works absolutely perfectly on this story, and having the harsh reality of Teddy’s troubled journey rendered in a glossy, detailed style would, in my opinion, greatly diminish the reading experience.
This is gripping stuff, and my only real criticism thus far has been the pacing, which seems frustratingly hurried as a result of the four-issue format. With the luxury of a little more time to experience Teddy’s doubts and to observe his inner struggles about the discoveries he’s making, this book would undoubtedly resonate on a far deeper level. As such, it feels a lot more like a critically-acclaimed blockbuster thriller than the sure-fire Oscar winner it deserves to be.
Overall then, while we may be heading for a bit of a sprint finish, Snow Blind remains one of the most intriguing thrillers I’ve read for quite some time. It asks some truly interesting questions about the fragile nature of trust by dragging us kicking and screaming into the world of a deeply troubled teen who seems willing to stop at absolutely nothing to discover the truth about his family. The finale is going to be an absolute must-read, and it’s a testament to the strength of the storytelling that, at this point, I have absolutely no idea how it’s all going to end.
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If you want to find out more about Snow Blind, make sure to check out our interview with Ollie Masters and Tyler Jenkins by CLICKING HERE.