Review: Lumberjanes #23

Lumberjanes_023_A_MainMan, I’m starting to think Mal might have the right idea about water after this issue.

With the rest of the Lumberjanes camp on storm watch, the Roanoke cabin is still out in the wild, with Molly and Ripley in the other world with the Bear Woman and Mal, April, and Jo stranded out on the lake with Karen and the Selkies.

Lumberjanes #23 admittedly feels like a low point in this arc. Not to say that it’s bad, but it does move a lot slower than the rest of this arc so far. Not a lot of progress gets made on the front with the selkies and Karen, beside April brokering a temporary truce between Karen and the selkies and a better understanding of what is causing the whirlpools.

However, most of what moves this issue is Molly and the Bear Woman. Molly hasn’t been a character that has gotten a lot of solo focus so far, so it’s interesting to see just how her brain works in the bits of the issue we do get to see of her. She’s smart, observant, and a pretty great shot with a bow and arrow. She’s also insecure and worried about returning home to her parents at the end of the summer, and the Bear Woman seems ready to prey on that.

No, not prey. That might be too harsh a term. She is certainly ready to take advantage of that to get Molly to stay and “get the real Lumberjanes experience.” Once again, the divide between The Bear Woman and Rosie that drove Abigail away comes to the forefront, if only for a page or two as The Bear Woman looks to get a new apprentice, potentially driving a similar wedge between Molly and her friends. This is very much a long game kind of story and it will be interesting to see where it goes.

Once again, Carey Pietsch and Maarta Laiho knock it out of the park on art. Pietsch’s strength in expressions gets a lot of play here as Molly racks her brain about the other world and the ones on the boat get stuck in an increasingly perilous situation. Her Ripley is also delightful as she goes off on her own solo adventure after a moth and there’s one panel with Molly the Science Gal that is a nice surprise in the middle of this issue. Most of this issue relies on scenery though and every piece of it in this issue is crisp, distinctive and sometimes frightening.

As for Laaiho, she’s usually an MVP on colors, but there are subtle things she does in this issue that make all the difference. A slightly green tone in Molly’s face as she realizes she’s lost track of Ripley. How she manages to capture the saturated glow of a forest in the middle of a storm. Her colors are beautiful and tend to not get as much focus when people are talking about just what makes Lumberjanes so great.

While Lumberjanes #23 may not be the most action driven issue, it does a great job of giving Molly some character work that will probably come into play later. Pietsch and Laiho’s work together on art is also beautiful and gets a bit more play with scenery than most Lumberjanes stories. Let’s just hope they’re going to find their way out of this current scrape by the end of the next issue because it’s more of a doozy than usual.

Story: Shannon Watters and Kat Leyh Art: Carey Pietsch and Maarta Laiho
Story: 7.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Boom! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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