Moving Right Along
Though this collection continue to suffer from Vaughan's ubiquitous obscenities, the stories are getting a bit better. One of the main challenges with a series based on this premise is that all the villains need to be female - not to say females don't make good villains, but the one-sidedness of the conflicts sometimes border on the redundant. The great cliffhanger at the end of the "Cycles" storyline does not, sadly, get a quality payoff in "One Small Step" - Vaughan takes the easy way out and ends the conflict before it really gets a chance to take off. In a way, though, it keeps the focus and importance on Yorick's eponymous role. The shorter two-part "Comedy & Tragedy" is a nice narrative break, taking the focus off Yorick, 355, and Dr. Mann, but it, too, is flawed by the language and sexual content. The real shame of this story is that Vaughan sets up the women (primarily the town's mayor) who disagree with the acting troupe's notions of what is art and good to be vapid and moronic, as if only their conception of what a woman is can be accurate/acceptable. The "Safeword" trilogy is good, but 711's motivation for her attire is inexplicable. Reading these issues so close together in these nice deluxe editions betrays the apparent passage of time mentioned in these later storylines. Apparently, the 4 main characters have been travelling across the country for over a year and a half now. Also, about 8 months have passed within this collection alone, since the baby mentioned in "One Small Step" is born during "Widow's Pass." The "Widow's Pass" story is too similar to "Cycles" to be terribly enjoyable, coupled with the decreasing interesting nature of Dr. Mann's character. Vaughan seems to be in a rut by the end, but he has added enough tidbits here and there to make the overall flow of the series still intriguing.