This review aims to be spoiler free, so don’t expect too many morsels of spoilage to tide you over until tomorrow’s issue hits stores.
Miner and Aranda pick up with issue three of Liberator where the last one left off – a tremendous cliffhanger where Damon and Jeanette are caught red handed by the police. For a team throwing that kind of cliffhanger into the end of their second issue, that takes either crazy chutzpah or a plan.
Going straight to jail never seemed in the cards for Damon and Jeanette, so the way Miner and Aranda handled the twist was really going to make or break Liberator. Well, Miner and Aranda stuck the landing with a funny and plausible solution to the twist that didn’t involve either of the characters outing themselves as a mutant with invisibility or telekinetic powers.
Instead, Miner uses the opportunity show Damon’s flirtations with zeal while characterizing Jeanette as the more stable of the two when it comes to animal liberation and justice. Damon comes across more recently as someone that factors revenge into what he’s doing. Jeanette on the other hand walks the fine line of justice with a more calculated approach.
This emerging dynamic between the two characters creates dramatic tension for the story that shows two people with the same goals, but different thinking about how to get there. Ultimately, it sets up conflict and confrontation, which shows the nuances of the larger issues Miner deals with in terms of animal rights and justice.
Aranda continues his yeoman’s approach to crafting good visual storytelling that stays true to the story elements and aesthetic. Straddling a fine line between traditional comic book art and more realistic depictions of characters (Jeanette is not represented in an oversexualized way, just as an actual woman!), Aranda shows a sensitivity to accurately portraying characters.
Using this approach, Aranda serves the story well and lines up with Miner’s storytelling style. Some of the work that best illustrates this in Liberator #3 is when Damon and Jeanette hash out some of their differences.
Getting back to the plot, Miner and Aranda take a double dip into twistville by ending this issue with an even more startling cliffhanger twist than issue two of Liberator. Let’s just say that Miner and Aranda are continually upping the ante for this series. Where it ends up is anyone’s guess because they keep pushing the envelope as far as suspense goes.
Overall, Liberator #3 makes for another great story that looks more closely at the realities and dynamics that exist when people commit themselves to a higher cause, even if it requires wearing a ski mask.
Liberator #3 hits your local comic shop on Wednesday, September 11th from Black Mask Studios.