Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono
Story Title: Little Better than a Beast â€“ Conclusion: Pipe Dreams
Written by: Peter David
Penciled by: David Lopez
Inked by: Fernando Blanco
Colored by: Nathan Eyring
Lettered by: Jared Fletcher
Editor: Lysa Hawkins
Publisher: DC Comics
All right, stick with me for a bit. I’m going to try and â€œlearnâ€ you something you may not know.
â€œCognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon, which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation.â€
— ATHERTON J S (2003)Learning and Teaching
As a teaching student, I have learned that it is positive to put the student in this state of discomfort. The creation of cognitive dissonance in a child, or adult, will strengthen their quest for knowledge. Not realizing what the over-arcing story is will create a quest for answers. Of course, too much dissonance and the person can be lost! It’s a very fine line indeed. But, when done properly there is no better tool to garner further interest.
Skirting the razors edge
In my review of issue #2, I likened Fallen Angel to a David Lynch production. There aren’t a whole lot of answers forthcoming as yet, but Peter David has without a doubt crafted a wonderfully original world, which totally unlike any other in comics.
So, you may ask just where the hell the school lesson comes in?
It’s simple really; Peter David has created a tremendous amount of cognitive dissonance within the pages of Fallen Angel. The characters are interesting, often compelling, but really we know nothing of their motivations, who, or even what, they are. Bette Noir is a strange, and original place, but other than the fact that it’s relatively safe in the daytime, and that the cops don’t and the â€œfreaksâ€ do, come out at night is about all we know.
The first two issues served to introduce us to the world, and the players, but the â€œwhyâ€ has been quite illusive. Much rumor surrounds just who Lee, the titular Fallen Angel, actually is. Is she Linda Danvers, Supergirl from PAD’s recently cancelled series? Or is she a completely original creation? The readers don’t know yet, and PAD is quite tight-lipped on the subject. The quest for answers will continue.
Instead of giving us the answers to the questions the reader has been seeking, PAD has instead taken us on a four-part tale, involving a very unique monstrosity stalking the streets of Bette Noir. PAD wraps the story up this month, but still has not answered the larger questions. PAD pulls in all the appropriate plot threads to conclude the arc, but the greater questions remain well beneath the surface.
Tight lips can sink ships too!
Giving away all the answers too quickly can be a problem in a mystery books such as this. Of course, leaving the reader out in the cold too long can also be death for a comic. Without a shadow of a doubt, PAD has created a great deal of cognitive dissonance with Fallen Angel thus far. The storylines are interesting, and I want to know the answers. I just hope that things are not dragged out so long that the dissonance turns too frustrating, and I no longer care about he answers. A very fine line indeed.