Cassie’s IDW Publishing Review: MEMORIAL #5

At the camp of the Lost Souls, Em learns more about the Everlands and the villainous Moment, who took her shadow and in turn her memory. Despite the danger, Em travels to the place where all her troubles began in an effort to learn about the person she was, coming face to face with the people she least expected.

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Rich Ellis provides us with a literal I-Spy at the camp, as we try to recognize the mythological and fictional creatures (in our world at least) that populate the encampment. These Lost Souls are literally people snatched from history, banding together to resist Moment, the empress of the Everlands. Think the Lost Boys from Peter Pan, but with Lost Girls… Although not Alan Moore’s Lost Girls. Complete with the Three Musketeers, Bigfoot, Robin Hood, and Mulan, they have a lot of strength on their side.

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While lately (lately being this issue and the prior one) this series is starting to feel very Fables, you have to remember that it has a much larger scope than mere fairy tales, but encompasses all figures in our world that we believe to be fictional- literary or otherwise. And just when you think Chris Roberson is out of ideas, he throws another layer of mythology at you. Something Fables has been unable to do recently so far into its run.

In this issue, Em is dealing with the ramifications of discovering she has no shadow, which was stolen by Moment along with her thoughts, memory, and personality. This means she’s already been to the Everglade, and Roberson brings in an element of steampunk in a giant brass airship to get her there to learn who she truly is. She knows is she got off lucky, because if Moment removes the spark of life left in you once your shadow is taken you turn into the statues that populate the Everglade, Moment's evil plan being to freeze everyone in their respective histories. No change, no growth. We also learn the story of the Everglade, the serpent and the knowledge filled apple tree that resides in its center, gorgeously illustrated woodcut style by Ellis.

Something new this issue is the eery location of Darkness Falls, where the King and Queen of Shadows live in darkness. Great punning there with the setting name! As we already know, the shadows are able to act separate from their host. Again, think Peter Pan’s shadow but add evil to the normal mischievousness. Schrödinger the cat is also there with the guardians of the Library, hopefully they will be dealt with more in the next issue, I quite miss them.

With its ever growing mythology, crazier and crazier plot line, and beautiful artwork, Memorial is one of the best creator-owned and non creator-owned comics on the market. In a media driven by repetitive stories and genres, it’s nice to see something so original. Not to mention addictive. Issue six cannot come fast enough.

Story: Chris Roberson
Art: Rich Ellis
Cover: Rich Ellis
32 Pages/FC
$3.99
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4-5 Stars