Mind The Gap Vol.3: Out Of Bodies
Written & Created by Jim McCann
Art by Rodin Esquejo, Sami Basri, & Dan McDaid
This collection ends Act I of the series with a bang. But first it answers a great many questions. The opening event certainly doesn't look conducive to resolution, though: Elle's spirit is torn into pieces, forcing her to inhabit several coma patients simultaneously. While everyone she knows is coping with the situation, the Elle Team (I'm not sure what else to call them: it's the group of Elle's friends that created the evidence wall we've seen, who are working to solve the mystery and save her from whatever the shadow Jairus group is trying to use her for) manages to get a sample of the Jairus solution.
When the solution is analyzed, Dr. Geller gets a surprise: it is clearly based on genetic research she performed while working for a pharmaceutical company owned by the Peterssen family. It's a formula designed for freezing an organism then bringing it back to life. Turns out that the family has been working on a way of defeating death for generations. A series of flashbacks (illustrated in a contrasting style by Dan McDaid) takes us all the way back to scientists working for the Nazis in Germany. Despite not actually being Nazis or doing anything unethical, the scientists are all eventually executed for war crimes. But not before sending their sons to Argentina, from which they find their way to the United States. This unexpected plot element explains a lot about the nature of the Jairus research project, as well as tying Geller into the story much more closely than it appeared before. The flashbacks sound like an added complication in an already complicated mystery, but in fact they are straightforward narrative. I found them downright relaxing: no added mystery to solve.
But there's more. The central mystery of Elle's collapse on the subway platform at the beginning of the series is also answered, in probably the last way anyone could have expected. The Elle Team has figured out enough to know that they must keep Elle's comatose body away from Jairus. Elle herself forces the issue by reentering her body, which results in her coding hours before Jairus expected. As they are maneuvering to transport her to the Jairus facility they discover that her body has disappeared from the hospital.
As usual the collection includes several extras. There's sheet music to the song "A Way Back to Then" which the characters sing at one point, which is a real song from the musical [title of show] which McCann has previously credited with being part of the series inspiration. He also reveals that the story is surprisingly autobiographical: Elle's medical condition is based on the one that McCann himself had as an infant. Finally, there are several variant covers.
I finally made the time to finish volumes two and three. This is a very well-done series. The writing and the art are excellent.
I'm glad to see that it has continued in the form of individual issues and am looking forward to volume four.
One of several new titles I have been following in trade form after recommendations on the Round Table.
Nice to see this review pop back up, and I agree. I like the series a lot, and am a little surprised that it hasn't gotten more buzz. But I wonder about its long-term health. The monthly issues have suffered from a lot of delays, and there hasn't even been a Vol. 4 collection announcement. Vol. 2-3 came out in quick succession, but the last one was October, 2013. That's a long hiatus.
The thing I've noticed about reading everything in collected form is that it's pretty easy for this kind of gap (pun intended) to happen without my even noticing.
I looked at the Image website. The last "monthly" issue published was, I believe, last May. I hold out hope, but that was almost nine months ago.
Now it's a full year since issue #17 was published. #16 and #17 are the only ones since the third trade. Does anyone know why it hasn't continued? Even these two issues were published five months apart. Sure glad I'm trade-waiting.