REVIEW: The Unknown #3
Release Date: 15 July 2009
Writer(s): Mark Waid
Artist(s): Minck Oosterveer
Cover(s): Erik Jones, Matthew Dow Smith with Andrew Dalhouse
Colours: Fellips Martins
Letterer: Marshall Dillion
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Catherine Allingham and James Doyle are still hot on the trail of a box. A special box said to be able to measure the human soul. Catherine is the greatest detective in the world, and aims to use the box to scientifically solve the mystery that haunts every human: what happens after we die. Is it her thirst for knowledge or the fact that she has six months before the tumor in her brain kills her that fuels her need to solve the unknown? And will she be prepared if science is not enough to fully understand the afterlife?
This issue starts with a scene very far from science, about as far as you can get, and just keeps going. Despite Catherine clinging to science as the explanation to everything, we saw at the end of the last issue that the answers probably won’t be that easy to find. All of a sudden, we’ve got supernatural beings showing up (the dude with the square head that Catherine had been seeing turns out not to be a hallucination), kids speaking in the language of demons, and a scary Russian Orthodox-looking priest with evil Oompa Loompas protecting a door to the afterlife. If ever there were a time when you wished Einstein and Hawking were superheroes, it would be now. Science, save us!
Holy Tesla’s coil. This issue was awesome. I wasn’t prepared for this to go to the demons/angels area, even though that ghost samurai and Square Head showed up in ways not connected to Catherine’s tumor. I mean, I guess I should have expected it (we are talking about a story of a woman trying to figure out what happens after we die), but the first two issues were so loaded with science talk that I got wrapped up in that and didn’t even think about the supernatural side. While I’m not a religious person myself, I have to admit I was actually glad to see this angle brought up along with the science. I’m all for a good debate, and in any good debate both sides will have compelling points and evidence to support their side. The introduction of something beyond science should force someone like Catherine to either prove everything can be explained scientifically or realize that some things can’t be. It’s what made Mulder and Scully a brilliant team, and it’s turning out the same can be said for Catherine and James.
Catherine is still very much scientifically minded, despite what she’s seen up to this point. James, on the other hand, very quickly labels what’s happening as supernatural. Most likely, it wasn’t just the ghost samurai, but the fact that he not only saw Square Head in the woods but that Square Head talked to him. He doesn’t tell Catherine this part (she’s already taken the stance that he had a nightmare because she told James about him before they went to sleep), and we don’t yet know what Square Head whispered into his ear. Even when they discover the crazy looking priest-type guy, she still thinks everything can be explained with science and she still has to solve this mystery. At this point, she’s on a freaking mission to see if that box works and everyone else be damned if they get in her way.
Man, I am not looking forward to next month. I really don’t want this series to end at issue 4! It has been entertaining from the start, and I suspect the ending won’t disappoint.