The Best Laid Plans (SFSX #5 Comic Review)

Writer and Creator: Tina Horn

Art: Michael Dowling

Colors: Jen Hickman

Cover: Tula Lotay

Letters: Steve Wands

Editor & Designer: Laurenn McCubbin

“But what if I don’t want to be rescued?”

In This Issue: It’s the night of the Pleasure Center gala event. Avory, Sylvia, Casey, Denis, and Nick are ready to go. Sylvia and Nick go to the gala as a couple so that Sylvia can swipe Dr. Powell’s Halo signature, while the rest of the group go in through the tunnels and air ducts to the thirteenth floor–via a room full of ‘contraband’.

The small-talk at the gala is very pro-Party, everyone praising the ‘reformation’ and ‘redistribution of intimacy’ and ‘averting [a] public health crisis’. A surprise is in store for Judy Boreman, however. It turns out that The Party has announced a co-honoree for the event–the very same investigator who was in charge of the bust at George and Avory’s apartment who walked away with a stiletto heel through his eyeball. Mrs. Boreman is not pleased with this development, even though the Party members in attendance assure her that she and Inspector Wilder have similar philosophies.

Nick and Sylvia succeed in obtaining Dr. Powell’s Halo signature, and Sylvia disappears to help the rest of the group during Mrs. Boreman’s speech. They make it into the restricted area on the thirteenth floor and find George, but unfortunately, that’s when all hell breaks loose.

My Two Cents: Issue five of SFSX has provided a glimpse of the Pleasure Center’s methods of ‘reformation’. Judy Boreman now has a challenger for the purity spotlight. The crew from The Dirty Mind are in a precariously tight spot. Everything is coming together, and there are two more installments in this arc for the readers to see how it plays out. Art and story continue to be on point, and the extra material at the end of the issue is as eye-opening as always. Just when you thought this book couldn’t possibly strip away any more barriers, push any more boundaries, Tina Horn whips back a curtain and shows you more than you thought possible.

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Elizabeth Fazzio
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org
Elizabeth Fazzio
Summary
I was particularly entranced by Tula Lotay’s cover art for this issue. Its verisimilitude makes it look nearly photographic; you’re able to imagine the characters in a more three-dimensional manner. (Not to disparage Jen Hickman’s art, obviously, which is as fantastic as ever--full of motion and detail and feeling.) For me, the better able I am to imagine the characters, the more real they become to me, and that makes their stories resonate more strongly. They become people rather than characters. Though the through-line of SFSX is moderately predictable, its subject and characters are unique, and that makes it engaging.
Good
  • Extras within the book
  • Story elements are balanced
  • Layered storytelling
Bad
  • Story is a bit predictable
8.4
Great
Art - 9
Story - 8
Writing - 9
Predictability - 7.5
Written by
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org

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