Who is God, what is this afterlife, and how does this all connect to Jude?
We get to learn a bit more about this world and a bit more about the deity in charge, in general. God is a floating space-blob, looking for a lady. The opening pages are wonderful and tell the story of Jesus Christ in a new and humorous way, without getting religious, if that makes sense. This leads to more explanations as to what is this "behind-the-scenes" are as well. As the book unfolds, it becomes this pretty interesting and dare I say cool look on Christianity that is a step or two (or seven) away from what people know. More than anything else, it's fun being reintroduced to a reinvented concept that folks are very familiar with, especially when God comes off as a bit of a bummer.
As the story continues, we learn a lot more about why Jude is special, and without spoiling anything, it fits into the story well and comes off as something the reader should have seen coming, but simply doesn't. I'm really on board with the adventure Ernest Hemingway and Jude are taking here. It's a lot of fun, and I love seeing what Joshua Fialkov and Gabo have in store for us and the book moves on. As weird as it is to say, the book is fun, in a depressing way. The situation the main characters are in is a downer, but the journey and tone are what make this book a ton of fun.
We're not left with an amazing, jaw-dropping cliffhanger ending, which is perfectly fine, but it is a moment that will get you excited about the next issue. Fialkov and Gabo are opening up this world more and more with each issue and giving the reader only what they need. There's no sense of being overwhelmed or being dealt too much information. The reveals are paced extremely well.
The art on THE LIFE AFTER is wonderful. Without sounding like too much of a weird hipster, the best way to describe Gabo's art and color style here is "indie epic" Gabo's style is distinct with an indie flair, jam-packed with a ton of detail, especially in these larger establishing shots. His color work is even better. He nails it when it comes to shading and matching light sources as well making these stylized characters feel like the world they're in as real.
There's little to dislike about this issue. Sure, it's a bit different, but different is good.
I've said it a ton of times on the Comic Vine podcast, but I love this book. I have this strange place for it in my heart. It's not a happy-go-lucky book nor is it one of those books we'd call "fun." It's essentially purgatory. There are delightful moments here and there, but the overall start of this series was pretty depressing. All-in-all, I'm really loving THE LIFE AFTER and if you're looking for something a bit out there that provides an interesting story and one hell of a journey, then this book is for you.