The second story arc for the Life is Strange comic series from Titan Comics has almost reached its climax, with the penultimate issue now in hand to deliver more dramatic goings on for Max and Chloe. It’s been a bit of a slow-burner so far, but the ‘Waves’ narrative really needs to turn things up a notch for Life is Strange Issue #7 in order to ensure the reader checks out the final instalment. Has it succeeded in doing so though?
First, we must remember that Issue #6 laid down the foundations for Max to finally catch up with the mysteriously disappearing chap, Tristan. Not that the latter was interested in exchanging pleasantries with Max; despite them both struggling to fully appreciate the special powers they’ve been given, he just wants to be left alone. And being alone is exactly how Max doesn’t want to feel at the moment; unable to share the multi-timeline tribulations of the past with either Chloe or Rachel. Fortunately, Tristan has a change of heart and it ended with him ready to open up about the special ability he possesses…
And that allows Issue #7 to begin proceedings with a flashback that explains the origins of Tristan’s power to disengage himself from the real world. People can’t see him, but he can certainly see what’s happening in reality and it all came about after a drug deal went south. It all becomes fairly clear as to why this is something of a burden to him, considering his disappearing act led to the death of a friend and also revealed how little Tristan’s parents care that he’s been missing since then.
Not only does that part help to portray him in a different light, it aids in understanding the need for stealing and his lone wolf nature. Thankfully for Max, he’s willing to lend an ear to her in return; although the reader doesn’t need to go over old ground as it skips ahead a couple of hours. Nevertheless, as a reader who’s followed the two main protagonists since their video game outings, it’s tough to see Max put up blockades when Chloe practically begs to know what’s really going on. Their friendship is being tested to its limits, with Chloe unleashing her frustration this time, leaving Rachel trying to patch things up.
So far, so good though in terms of keeping interest levels high and even though there’s a tiny lull afterwards, business soon picks up again when two rather dramatic events occur almost simultaneously. In the interest of avoiding spoilers, all that can be said is that the past is going to catch up with someone. Meanwhile, the other incident is merely as a result of what happens when partygoers make stupid decisions. At least the inclusion of a party lets us see the artist draw a new, rather swanky location to offer something different to the apartment or a dark and dingy alleyway. It’s worth mentioning the brilliantly chosen, and elegant, outfits worn by Max and Rachel, along with Chloe’s very appropriate more punk-style attire.
The only real complaint to be had with Issue #7 is in the way The High Seas are re-introduced in the prior comic, with expectations that we’ll possibly get to know more about them in this one. Nothing has materialised in that sense, which makes me ponder the reason they got brought back in at all – there is none right now, but maybe the future issues hold the answers.
Life is Strange Issue #7 is exactly what’s needed with a finale coming up as it ramps up the drama, gives more depth to some of the characters and provides additional motivation to find out what on earth is going to happen next. The artistic choices are spot on, as they have been since the inception of the comic series, and the writing never feels out of character for the personalities involved in the story.
Make sure you read this issue, and certainly don’t miss the next – it’s lined up to be a cracker!