Cartoonist: Terry Moore
Cover Colors: Brian Miller
Publisher: Abstracto Studio
WHAT IS IT?
Ever: The Way Out is a supernatural horror tale about a teenager attempting to escape limbo by fulfilling an ancient prophecy envisioned by fallen angels.
Imagine the intensity of Terry Moore's previous series, Rachel Rising, but as an OGN with a sprinkle of Groundhog Day.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
On the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Ever, a seemingly normal girl, is confronted by Timothy, a fallen angel, with the truth about her past. Turns out, Ever is the only surviving child of Lilith, the first of humankind before Adam and Eve's creation. If that weren't bad enough, Timothy also reveals she's been living the same day over and over for thousands of years, with no end in sight. That is, until she fulfills an ancient prophecy to free Timothy and his fallen brothers the minute of her soon-to-be birthday, traveling down to the dreaded pit of darkness.
How far will Ever go to escape her captors? And what horrors await her in the pit of darkness?
Terry Moore is one of the few "complete packages" in the American Comics Industry, consistently writing, penciling, inking, and lettering his own comics. Flipping through his pages is always special knowing each step of the process was crafted under his singular vision.
The hand lettering used for Ever: The Way Out was executed spectacularly by Moore with incredible sound effects that pop right off the page and a font choice that blends in beautifully with his artwork.
Brian Miller's colors on the cover are incredible, blending the darker palette to symbolize the real world with a splash of vibrant red and orange on the left-hand side for the supernatural elements intruding into Ever's life.
Terry's dialogue is conversational and witty, even in places you wouldn't expect it to be. This approach is a wonderful way to contrast Ever and Timothy's character traits.
The opening chase is an effective cold open, immediately grounding Ever as a relatable teen. The escalation from the dread that someone is following her to the confirmation of her fears and the steps she takes to lose him is expertly paced and really takes advantage of the graphic novel format to build tension.
Terry's spin on Old Testament mythology is fascinating. The motivation he provides the angels is a fascinating wrinkle to an incredibly familiar story of humanity's fall from grace, making an otherwise tedious exposition scene into a captivating read.
Like his previous series, Rachel Rising, Terry is a master of depicting slice of life sequences and contrasting them with visceral moments of supernatural suspense. The page of the shadows turning into serpents and chasing Ever was an especially tense sequence early on.
Speaking of Rachel Rising, there is a fun connection between the two stories that both works if you've read the series but can be enjoyed as a standalone story as well.
Ever's descent into the pit of darkness is yet another reminder that Terry Moore is a criminally underrated horror artist. The long vertical panels show her rapid plunge with ferocious speed lines culminating in her surrounded by a swarm of demons. It catches you off guard with its intensity and once he has you he doesn't let up.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Content Warning: This story contains disturbing imagery and instances of brutal violence.
Terry Moore primarily works in black & white and Ever: The Way Out is no different. Keep that in mind if you're not a fan of that style of comics.
There were a couple of instances where the dialogue was too wordy for one balloon to handle, disrupting the flow of the scene.
It's strange that the fallen angels were able to trap Ever in a Groundhog Day-style loop for centuries without attracting the attention of the other angels for as long as they did. A minor plot convenience that won't derail your enjoyment of the story, but one that may cross your mind while reading it.
While the story's climax is thrilling on a visual level, Ever's conclusion feels rushed. The story beats on their own are good, but a little more time spent with Ever in the pit of darkness would have given the final two pages more impact.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Terry Moore continues to be one of the best storytellers working in the business. His characters are nuanced and witty, making it genuinely tense when the horror moments kick in. And no one draws horror scenes like Terry. There's a hidden ferocity in his art that you're never ready for when a scene shifts from heartfelt to horrifying.
While it is a little short, most noticeably with its conclusion, Ever: The Way Out remains a thrilling supernatural horror story with an intriguing spin on Judeo-Christian Mythology that you don't see often in the horror space. If you're looking for a more character-driven supernatural horror tale, this is the comic for you.
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