Wood played an interesting game with this issue as it mostly took part during the hypnotherapy session, which opened up a fun dynamic between Marc and Dr. Walhalla. Marc begins the dialogue in the issue by turning the tables on his psychiatrist so that throughout the entire issue both Marc and Dr. Walhalla are psychoanalyzing each other. It turns into a real cat-and-cat game (much like the intellectual games Light and L play with one another in Death Note, if I may make the comparison) that intrigues until the very end when Wood throws a curve ball into the mix that leaves the reader's mouth agape in awe.
On the art side, this issue feels very much like what we got when Shalvey and Bellaire were tangoing across the pages. I feel as if Smallwood's style for this series has evolved since his series debut in issue #7, and it seems as though he is quickly finding his groove with Bellaire as they begin to dish out a thematically similar style to the previous team's. When comparing the artworks of issue #1, #7, and #9 side-by-side-by-side, you can definitely tell that Smallwood is starting to shape up into the next Shalvey in this series. This is great news, since Shalvey and Bellaire's synchronicity helped to sell the book just as much as Ellis' writing and stardom did. This may be the closest thing Marvel has ever done to catching lightning in a bottle twice, and hopefully we'll get another six—or even more, ideally—issues to this ceaselessly impressive series.
|This was one of the most important and powerful panels in the issue.|