Father Fred’s Demons Come Out To Play In Gideon Falls #15

by Brendan M. Allen

“The Misplaced Man” Back in modern Gideon Falls, Father Fred and Angie continue to look for clues about the mysterious Norton, and a dark mystery from Father Fred’s past is revealed.

Father Fred is back in Gideon Falls #15. He’s been plopped into the modern Gideon Falls, and he’s here to face down some demons from his past. We knew about the alcohol. The other thing? That’s way darker. This dude’s got some serious issues. Meanwhile, Dr. Xu is still trying to figure out exactly what the hell is going on, and how exactly she wants to deal with her newly shaken worldview. “Norton” disappeared just as she was starting to buy into his delusions, which, you know, turned out to be not so far fetched.

Jeff Lemire is finally letting us see behind the curtain a little. At some point, the storylines have to converge, right? I feel like I’ve said maybe a dozen times already, but I really, really mean it this time. Elements have bled through the dimensions and timelines, but the key to this whole thing has been maddeningly elusive. There’s the one huge reveal in this chapter that brings things closer to focus. Not really in focus at all, but, you know, closer.

On the art side, this isn’t one of the crazier chapters. That’s not to say it isn’t impactful. There’s always an underlying visual tension in the linework by Andrea Sorrentino, which is heightened by Dave Stewart’s color. The general effect is deeply unsettling.

Gideon Falls is some of the best psychological horror I’ve read. The very definition of a slow burn, but in all the right ways. Lemire is pacing this thing out brilliantly, teasing out just enough each month to satisfy morbid curiosity, but leaving enough hanging to keep readers constantly on their heels.

Gideon Falls #15, Image Comics, released 17 July 2019. Created by Jeff Lemire (script) and Andrea Sorrentino (art), color by Dave Stewart, letters by Steve Wands.

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