Quicken Forbidden #13

Written by Dave Roman
Art by John Green
32 pages, black and white
Published by Cryptic Press

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with Dave Roman and John Green’s Quicken Forbidden, a distinctly unusual and inventive comic series about a young girl who discovers that going down the proverbial rabbit hole is much more dangerous than Alice let on. And what better time to take a look at Quicken Forbidden than its final issue… right? Well, yes, actually.

Jax Epoch’s had better days. Earth and everything in its dimension is collapsing, thanks in small part to her accidental unleashing of the dangerous Quicken when she hopped into another dimension. Now her only chance is to find someone to cast a spell to stop both the Quicken and the dimensional collapse once and for all—but is the cost too high?

I’ve always been impressed with Roman’s cleverness with Quicken Forbidden and this issue is no exception; a single issue of Quicken Forbidden has more ideas than most entire book series. Concealment masks, wall-spanning bridges, flying narwhals, and the most dangerous fast food diner in the world are just a few of the things that fly fast and furious at the reader in this latest issue of Quicken Forbidden, to the point that you almost have to re-read the comic in order to catch absolutely everything that Roman’s dreamed up. Then again, that’s a more apt statement than you might realize if you’ve never read Quicken Forbidden. Roman’s narration itself is almost dreamlike in places, bringing a sense of introspection and understanding to the lead character of Jax Epoch. For a series that has had its protagonist make mistakes and spend the rest of its run trying to make things right, it’s this gradual understanding and acquiring of knowledge over the years that pays off perfectly here. Jax has learned a lot, and whether you’ve read the entire series to date or just this concluding issue, that much is definitely clear.

Green’s art in Quicken Forbidden is a clean, straight-forward style. I love the crisp lines that he draws the book with; from Jax’s sharp eyebrows and round glasses to the long-nosed concealment masks and the tendrils of the Quicken, everything looks perfectly realized on the page. There’s a lot to be said for how Green brings Roman’s ideas to life on the page, making drowned cities and strange flying creatures all look realistic and plausible. In many ways it’s one of the great strengths of Quicken Forbidden: Green’s able to make Roman’s ideas not just appear on the page, but also feel real.

Special kudos also have to go to both Roman and Green for making the final scenes of the comic especially dramatic. Jax’s final confrontation with the Quicken is done perfectly, both with its setup of the ghosts drifting through the room as well as the Quicken’s appearance itself. It’s a memorable way to end a series, and for long-time readers of the series, it’s a send-off like no other. If you’ve never read Quicken Forbidden, definitely check out the two collections of the series to date published by AiT/PlanetLar; retitled Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden, you’ll be quite pleased with what you find.

Purchase Links: Amazon.com

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