We Only Find Them When They're Dead #3 Review: Extremely Close

We Only Find Them When They're Dead #3
5/10
Beautifully illustrated but the relentless amount of close-up shots is disorienting.

We Only Find Them When They're Dead has a hell of a concept. This series about a world where crews of essentially space vultures search out the bodies of gigantic, dead gods to harvest their valuable body parts is written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Simone Di Meo with color assists from Mariasara Miotti, and lettered by AndWorld Design. Let's dive into issue three.

We Only Find Them When They're Dead #3 cover. Credit: BOOM! Studios
We Only Find Them When They're Dead #3 cover. Credit: BOOM! Studios

We Only Find Them When They're Dead has a close-up problem. While beautifully drawn, this issue gave me a headache trying to figure out what I was looking at. To say that half of the panels are extreme close-ups would be an extreme understatement. It's difficult to contextualize anything that's happening in this issue and, even though it's a very simple story of one ship chasing another, it's a disorienting read made more confusing by the fact that two of the major characters, Paula and Alice, have almost identical character designs. I found myself squinting at the pages to see, "Okay, Paula has a crazy gleam to her eyes — is this Alice or Paula?" While the pages are, again, absolutely gorgeous, the sheer amount of hyper-close-up shots and the Alice/Paula issue makes this a frustrating read.

At the same time, there are pretty soaring heights here. The scene where we see a god open its eyes and, with one stunning movement, call the entire concept of the series into question. Di Meo and Miotti pull off that moment with stunning beauty, and Ewing's script sets up for a truly stunning moment even with the issue's failings.

While We Only Find Them When Their Dead has everything it takes to be one of the best comics on shelves, two issues in a row have suffered from the same problems. If they pull back and reassess and… well, you know, literally pull back so we can see what's going on and contextualize the characters and setting in any way, things will start looking up. Simone Di Meo's art is some of the most beautiful, unique, stunning work in comics right now, and AndWorld Design's unique overlay lettering creates an attractive style unique to We Only Find Them When Their Dead. With the simple adjustment of including a larger variety of angles that better facilitate the needs of the story, this will be an absolutely amazing series.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.