Gideon Falls #5 Review: Upping the Intensity but Keeping the Pace Slow

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Father Fred and Sheriff Miller are attacked by a crazed Joe Reddy. He stabs Fred's hand and runs off into the night. Miller and Fred find Joe's wife bleeding out on the ground before long. They find some things on the trail that lead them back to Doc Sutton. Meanwhile, Norton is trying to comfort Dr. Xu. She is terrified of the Black Barn, and, in the name of investigation, hypnotizes Norton so that he can dig back into his own past.

Gideon Falls #5 cover by Andrea Sorrentino
Gideon Falls #5 cover by Andrea Sorrentino

Gideon Falls #5 finds things worsening in the small town as Miller and Fred just try to keep what's left of the peace. The story is ramping up its intensity slowly; the comic has been a slow boil thus far. However, it seems that Jeff Lemire is gradually kicking up the tension.

We learn more about these characters' histories, particularly Sheriff Miller and Norton. They telegraph an upcoming twist that won't be all that surprising now consequently, but that's not too big an issue.

The mystery of the Black Barn is still appreciably creepy, and that helps the story quite a bit. The story, despite the ramping tension, is starting to fell a little slow. An overall sense of dread, along with the engaging characters, keep the book from even nearing the dull territory.

Gideon Falls #5 art by Andrea Sorrentino and Dave Stewart
Gideon Falls #5 art by Andrea Sorrentino and Dave Stewart

Andrea Sorrentino's artwork is still eerie and ominous, giving the world a feeling of detailed grounding yet cold disconnect. The creative paneling, framing, and background detail go a long way towards fleshing out this world and the strange and unnerving aspects within. Dave Stewart contributes subtle color shades contrasted by deep reds that add further to the ominous atmosphere of the book.

Gideon Falls #5 ramps up the tension while the pacing remains slow. That's not inherently bad, but the narrative is starting to drag a little. The main saving graces are the mystery of the Black Barn, the characters, and how creepy it all feels. I can still recommend this comic despite the slowness. Feel free to check it out.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.