When I first heard about Titan Comics publishing a mini-series to provide a continuation of the narrative for Life is Strange, I could’ve never imagined it’d become an ongoing series and be able to hook in readers for the long haul. But now, as we reach the final part of the second major story arc in Life is Strange Issue #8, Max and Chloe’s journey looks seemingly endless. It’s time to find out how events will unfold in order to both create a fitting conclusion and leave the door ajar for the next chapter.
Well, where to begin after the utter chaos of Issue #7? We saw Tristan open up about the moment he realised he possesses the power to go invisible, which unfortunately occurred in the midst of a drug deal that led to his friend getting shot and killed. There’s a sense of déjà vu though when Tristan, in the present, finds a bag of drugs and ends up in a spot of bother. Poor Max has a lot to handle too; a fatal overdose at a huge party she attends alongside Chloe and Rachel is then followed by the sound of gunshot. Could it have been Tristan on the wrong end of a bullet, thus adding to the misery surrounding Max?
Thankfully, not on her watch. Despite hoping never to use those time manipulating abilities ever again, she messes with time to ensure Tristan avoids getting into trouble and also manages to obtain help for the partygoer. Unfortunately though, as is always the case with her meddling, there are consequences and the immediate kind sees her kidnapped by a couple of no-good crooks. Tristan could’ve intervened but instead panicks and does nothing, which really makes you – the reader –, fear for Max’s safety.
It’s quite intense to witness this young woman taken under duress to god knows where by two thugs who seem to have no idea what they’re doing. This makes them dangerous and Max’s best efforts to escape only appears to fuel their anger; however all is not lost as unbeknownst to her, the trusty trio of Tristan, Chloe and Rachel are hatching a rescue plan. And without spoiling too much, it’s actually a very clever scheme that involves modern tech and the power of invisibility.
The real triumph here is Max realising that she could rely on all three of them in her time of need and that may mean she’s now going to be able to unload her problems on them in an upcoming issue – instead of bottling it all up and struggling to cope. This situation has allowed Tristan to grow as a person too, by showing real bravery and making sure he steps up when it matters the most. He’s already hard on himself after the incident that saw a close friend get killed, so there’s no way he could’ve handled having another death on his watch.
In regards the artwork, there’s an interesting contrast between the panels that portray the good times and the bad. The party, pre-overdose, and another celebratory moment are full of vibrancy, with lovely, warm colours used. On the contrary, the warehouse-style location where Max is held is quite bland and grim, which really helps to set the scene. As always, the clothing design choices are suitable for all involved, including the simple attires of the thugs.
Despite Life is Strange Issue #8 spending much of the comic putting our favourite protagonist’s life in a dangerous predicament to make the reader worrisome, it’s a great way to end the ‘Waves’ arc because you don’t want to stop reading. There’s plenty of drama and some pretty decent action to ensure there’s not a wasted panel in sight. The fact that the narrative of this issue also manages to help develop the character of Tristan is merely a bonus, and a welcome one for the future of the series, I’m sure.
Where does the story go from here? Well, only time will tell, but the possibilities seem endless as we delve ever deeper in the lives of Max and Chloe. I, for one, am interested to discover what’s next in the Life is Strange comic series, and you should be too.