Joe Hill's Rain
Joe Hill, story; David M. Booher, adaptation; Zoe Thorogood, art; Chris O'Halloran, colors
Image Comics, 2022
This five-issue miniseries was adapted from a novella of the same name in the prose collection Strange Weather (2017). Hill describes the concept as climate change with teeth: a rain in the form of sharp crystal splinters that shreds everything it touches is impossible to ignore. It comes without warning in Boulder, Colorado as Honeysuckle Speck is about to welcome her girlfriend to their new home. She and her mother–as well as most of Honeysuckle's neighbors, and a substantial percentage of Boulder's population–die in the first downpour. Honeysuckle decides to travel to Denver to check on her father-in-law, unable to bear the grief of losing him as well. While it would not have been a long trip under normal circumstances, things are far from normal. The rains appear to be spreading, and each downfall is more severe than the last, with larger spikes. Civilization is nearly collapsing, and no one knows how the rains started (though some kind of terrorism is suspected). The Denver mission fails, but in the process, Honeysuckle makes a friend. And after returning home she solves the mystery of the deadly rain, close to home and almost by accident. She and the neighbor boy she had taken under her wing set out to inform the authorities and save the world. Thorogood's manga-influenced art and minimal backgrounds tell the story effectively, while also providing just enough emotional distance to prevent the tragedy from becoming overwhelming.
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