Mind The Gap is another entry in the strong recent Image catalog. It's a mystery, with a twist. As the story opens Elle, daughter of a rich couple, has been attacked in the subway. We meet her in the hospital, in a coma: but she's having an out-of-body experience, so she is a conscious witness to the situation. Mind The Gap Vol. 1: Intimate Strangers collects the first five issues of the series. Writer Jim McCann gets sole creator credit, which is a bit unusual. Main artist Rodin Esquejo and colorist Sonia Oback also get cover credit.
The cast of characters include Elle's parents, her brother, her boyfriend, and her best friend. There's also a mysterious operative in a hoodie, who may be the unknown assailant. But initially everything is a mystery: Elle can't even remember who she is at first. Just about everyone seems to have a secret agenda: the inside covers remind the reader "Everyone is a suspect. No one is innocent."
Elle's therapist, Harold Crenshaw is also involved in something shady. He's in the process of delivering a mysterious case when an arranged traffic accident puts him in the same hospital as Elle, also in a coma. The soon meet up in "The Garden" in spirit form, so Crenshaw's attempts to get her to remember become part of the mix. For some reason she does not remember being his patient, but he remembers her. Doctor Hammond, the doctor in charge of her case, also seems to have a lot to hide (Doctor Geller,another doctor on the ward, has suspicions and surreptitiously begins to investigate) . There are intimations that it may be due to the Peterrsen family's financial support of the hospital: and after the big reveal near the end of Issue Five, that does seem possible.
Issue Five also fills in the family history of Elle's boyfriend Dane. He stands accused of assaulting Elle, but it's soon clear that he is being framed. His estranged father enters the picture. In addition to being no friend of Dane, he also seems likely to be a loose cannon as a co-conspirator.
The plot is definitely deepening as the series goes on. But I think the ratio of new secrets to revelations is a good one: I feel like the story is moving forward, even if a lot is still murky by Issue Five. I'd contrast that with the progress of Morning Glories, another current Image series with a mystery at the center. There the mysteries keep piling up. Even the issue that was supposed to hold the key to the timeline of the first part of the series was confusing!
I like Rodin Esquejo's art very much, and am surprised that he does not get co-creator credit. It's a fairly realistic style, similar to a number of other current Image artists (which is ironic, given the highly stylized work of the Image founders). He does an especially good job designing distinctive characters: there's never any confusion about who is who.
I've been enjoying this series quite a bit, and I'm glad someone else is as well. They have been pretty good at actually answering some of the questions they raise.
I will say that this month's issue was a bit of a disappointment.
Another thing I forgot to mention: I got the first issue free from Comixology, which is what really got me interested in the series. As far as I know it's still free (I did read this collection in printed form, though).