Mystery can be a great way to drive a story forward. Not knowing who the killers are in Scream is the perfect ingredient to spice up an already great film. It’s human nature to want to know what happens next. It’s why we read and watch and listen to stories in the first place. The debut issue of Christopher Cantwell’s Everything leans a little too far into mystery though, leaving readers unsure of what to expect next.
Cantwell certainly hints at things to come. “Everything” is a department store opening in Michigan. Shirley the store manager promises the people outside “You’re about to walk through these doors… and when you do… Everything… Everything… Everything will be different” before cutting the ribbon to let them in. It’s vaguely ominous, but not quite enough to create a real sense of dread. Other weird things are happening to, but they fall into that same level of almost upsetting when they need to be all the way there.
Despite the lack of intrigue, the characters are promising. Shirley flirted with city manager, Eberhard. Remo, a teenager battered by angry father, is applying for a job at the store. The seeming protagonist Lori, who is either performing chest compressions or murdering someone on the first page, cracks an egg into a glass of vodka for breakfast while watching film noir.
Series artist I.N.J. Culbard draws each of the characters, and the store, well. His style is purposefully reminiscent of department store catalogues, which is perfect for a series about a department store. Cantwell smartly gets out Culbard’s way, letting much of the story be told in images sans dialogue.
It’s hard to say much else because the issue reveals so little. 24 pages is a tight space to introduce four characters, a setting, and a plot, but it’s something that Cantwell did seamlessly in his excellent series She Could Fly. Hopefully he’ll regain that form in Everything #2.
Wicked Rating – 6/10
Dark Horse’s Everything #1 hits shelves September 4, 2019!