Titan Comics has released yet another story for the fans. If you know the characters of the first Life Is Strange game, you know that Max Caulfield has a huge blind spot. She always tries to use her powers to make what she wants work in any situation, even if that puzzle piece just doesn’t fit. Life Is Strange Vol. 2: Waves developed her character by having her stubbornly try like hell to just let things be. It’s safe to say that the author of Life Is Strange Vol. 2, Emma Vieceli, understands the characters perfectly.
When We Last Left Our Hero
From Issue #5 until now, Max has found a reality where she should be happy, but she doesn’t feel like she belongs. Issue #8, sees her pushed to her very limit as she tries to save the life of her new friend Tristan. Max not only has to save Tristan but also repair her relationship with Chloe.
If you’re confused, don’t be. Issues #1-4 were the first volume of the comic Life Is Strange, entitled Dust. Issues 5-8 are the second volume, Waves. Issue #8 is the conclusion of Waves. Perhaps not as satisfying as the ending of Dust, Issue #8 still sets up the premise of the next volume. That’s not a bad thing at all.
Life Is Strange: Waves’s Purpose
This is not to say that there is anything wrong with Issue #8 or Waves in general. It had a difficult job to do in making sure that we are emotionally invested for the next volume of issues. Issue #8, the final part of the second act, acts as the climax of the action. The problem comes from the fact that Max only got officially introduced to Tristan in Issue #7. In a short amount of time, Max has learned his story, felt a kinship with him, and now Issue #8 is all about saving his life.
The artwork and page layout flow nicely thanks to the talents of Claudia Leonardi and Andrea Izzo. Issue #8 feels as satisfying as seeing a well-made plan come together, both visually and in terms of story. That said, by the end of Issue #8, I couldn’t help but feel like I would have felt the impact of its last line more if Chloe’s resentment of Max’s relationship with Tristan had more time to fester.
Pick It Up Or Let It Fade Away?
The conclusion of Waves, Issue #8, pays off everything that Issues #5-7 set up. There are some nitpicks, though. I personally find it humorous that drug dealers never name the drugs by name, but only say the word “drugs”. My only real gripe is that in setting up the premise of Volume 3, the end of Waves can feel rushed. Even so, the comic saga of Life Is Strange continues and is not to be missed.
If you missed our review of Volume 1: Dust, don’t forget to check it out! If you want more reviews from me and the rest of the awesome people here at Culture of Gaming, you can find more at OpenCritic.com!
- THE GOOD
- Pays off the whole Waves arc of Life Is Strange including the new dynamic.
- Opens up possibilities for a whole Life Is Strange universe.
- Great artwork!
- THE BAD
- A couple pacing issues stemming from the Waves saga as a whole.
Issue 8 is a wonderful send off to the Waves arc of the Life Is Strange comic series. It pays off Tristian’s friendship with Max and sets up the possibility of more strange phenomenons in the Life Is Strange universe. What lessens an ending that could’ve been stronger is how fast Max and Tristian’s friendship develops. Still, if you love Life Is Strange, there is no possible reason to miss the conclusion of the Waves arc.
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I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been playing video games. I also do standup and improv. The game that made me realize that video games could be more than just a toy, was Metal Gear Solid 2.