Everything is a slow burn. Most of the first two issues are full of hints and two accidental deaths. To this point, the series has been burning too slowly, leaving this reader more bored than anxious. The hints are toward questions, not answers. The third issue is the best installment in Everything’s infancy because it flips that trend and finally starts hinting at answers.
Shirley the manager, much like the store she manages, turns out to be much more than she appears. In Everything #3, her branch is getting a visit from the mysterious Interlocutor. When asked about the deaths, he answers, “We’re still calibrating.” It’s a bombshell in a series that’s been too vague to this point. Writer Christopher Cantwell and artist I.N.J. Culbard show us another, dangerous, side of Shirley later on.
This issue also reveals that our hero, Lori, has a brain tumor. While she doesn’t find out if it’s cancerous or not yet, her doctor explains, “the tumor is small, but it’s location in the brain is—incredibly problematic. Malignancy in this area is very common.” It’s not confirmed that it’s cancer, and it’s not confirmed that the store caused whatever it is. It’s implied, and that starts driving the story forward.
Everything #3 picks up momentum because, finally, Cantwell tips his hands to his readers. He and Culbard are still coy about exactly what’s happening, but it’s finally clear that something is.
This issue also has the best splash page to open an issue, parodying department store ads. A man and a woman in gis kick toward the top of the panel. On their left in yellow letters with red shadows is, “Judo? Kendo? C’mon and spend-o!” Everything captures the strangeness of consumerism without being overly self-serious.
Wicked Rating – 7/10