[*Warning – mild spoilers for They're Not Like Us #5 below!]
I always look forward to reading new issues of They're Not Like Us from Image, written by Eric Stephenson with art by Simon Gane, because I know that I'm going to be reading a well-written, gripping comic. They're Not Like Us #5 centers on The Voice's character. As the story progresses normally, we get a retelling of The Voice's history from Maisie. She shares what she knows about him with Syd in an effort to help her better understand the reasons she's there and why The Voice feels so strongly about getting rid of parents. We learn that The Voice suffered a challenging upbringing, and that his parents basically tried to kill him in a sneaky way. However, they didn't just try to kill him, they tried to kill his two brothers as well.
We get a fascinating look at how the three brothers were linked. While all three were telepaths, they were also connected in a much deeper way. Stephenson writes, "They had a very symbiotic bond, with each of them serving different functions within their relationship. With that bond severed, he was only barely a functioning telepath, and worse, whatever emotional or personality traits his brothers favored became strangely absent in his own makeup." Simon Gane provides us with a helpful illustration to accompany the mind-blowing facts that you can see below.
After reading the first four issues, it seemed like nothing would make me feel sympathy for The Voice's character. While it's still difficult at times, issue five opened my eyes up to why he feels the way he does. The way Stephenson explains the connection he shared with his brothers pretty much makes it clear that there's nothing he can do to change his behavior. They were meant to operate as one team, and he lost the people that made him whole. It's interesting to watch Syd react to the events. She wants so much to believe that she doesn't belong with all of them, but Maisie really tries to open her eyes.
I know that I tend to lean more towards the positive side of things when reviewing comics, but as a reader I can confidently say that this is by far one of the best comics on shelves today. The concept is on point, the writing is well done, and the art is exquisite. The creative team has perfected every detail of the story, and it shows. The moral of the review: read this comic. I insist. It's an important piece of work that will hopefully be around for a long time.
Christine Marie is a Staff Writer at Bleeding Cool, and bibliomaniac with a love for all things creative. She hopes to one day be a Superhero/Disney Princess/Novelist. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @AWritersWay or on her blog writerchristinemarie.wordpress.com.