Review: GIDEON FALLS #18 – Smiling Out of the Depths of Hell


$#!t hits the fan.
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The laughing man is looking for blood in Gideon Falls #18, out this week from Image Comics.

Review: GIDEON FALLS #18 - Smiling Out of the Depths of Hell 1

Wow. Just when you thought you might have a series figured out, the script flips. The small town of Gideon Falls is the center of something far more sinister than anyone could’ve imagined. There are so many moving parts to keep up with as the characters meet and their stories intertwine.

Jeff Lemire is scripting this edge of your seat horror suspense, and Andrea Sorrentino illustrates some nightmare inducing pages that are sure to be instant classic scenes when adapted to screen. Dave Stewart the busiest color man in comics and Steve Wands round out this award winning creative team.

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Review: GIDEON FALLS #18 - Smiling Out of the Depths of Hell 2

Lemire has mastered the slow reveal and created one hell of a mystery horror that has me dreading the last page of every issue. It is something I look forward to releasing every month and waiting thirty days between issues is the most terrifying part of Gideon Falls.

Review: GIDEON FALLS #18 - Smiling Out of the Depths of Hell 3

Sorrentino’s art is once again pristine and perfect. Two-page spreads from Sorrentino for Gideon Falls are always amazing, and this issue might have some of the best yet. In the most notable spread, the detail for each of these tiny images is something to behold. Death, destruction, and war is rampant across the page and even the peaceful images are hiding something sinister.

Stewart captures the perfect aura for a dark town with a haunted history. Gideon Falls is dirty, grungy, and grimey. The citizens wear boring colors and no one owns anything too flashy or fancy. It feels like everyone in the town senses something is wrong but no one will say anything.

Review: GIDEON FALLS #18 - Smiling Out of the Depths of Hell 4

Wands’ creepy, scratchy lettering is always a contributing factor to the uneasy feeling this book exudes. Conversations look like the incoherent scribblings of a psychopath, or like this entire story is being read out of some psych patient’s journal.

After taking a trip to Gotham with Joker: Killer Smile, the team returns to the twisted and tormented town of Gideon Falls. Characters are finally meeting and they’re starting to understand the scope of things as the stakes rise.

We have seen Nortan Sinclair’s machine before, but now we know what it does and why the Black Barn is showing up in their nightmares. The Pentoculus has allowed evil to escape and now Wilfred and Angela must venture to the center in hopes of setting everything right.

Review: GIDEON FALLS #18 - Smiling Out of the Depths of Hell 5

The horrible realities from every Gideon Falls that have and will ever exist put the story into perspective. We find out this is not something that can be fixed with any sort of ease. There is no plan for this and no one knows what will or can happen.

I would say it looks like the story is getting revved up and ready to go, but that would go against what Gideon Falls has been about. Revealing secrets slowly and at the right moment is what has made this series so exciting. We learn something new with each issue but not enough to put the entire mystery together, until the right time. I feel that as we learn more answers we will only find more questions.

Gideon Falls has always been reminiscent of Twin Peaks, but now Lemire pulls other influences into the mix. This issue reminded me of Black Science for obvious reasons like the reference to the center and other dimensions of possibilities, but where BS is full of wonder and science, GF is just evil. GF is the dark multiverse to BS.

Review: GIDEON FALLS #18 - Smiling Out of the Depths of Hell 6

The laughing man and Gideon Falls are putting a family through hell during what should be a happy moment for a family reunited, can they stick together and find answers? Or will they be the next to smile?

What did you think of Gideon Falls #18? How are you enjoying the story so far? Let us know in the comments below.

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Cody Walker
Cody Walker
Working in the subscription department at the world's largest comic shop. Lover of horror, Jeff Lemire, Tom Petty, hip-hop, kitties, playing bass, screaming loudly, mountains, and great food. Living my best life with no car, riding the rails, reading great stories. If any European readers would like to send me some blood pudding, I'd be ok with that.


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