Well I’ll cut right to the chase; I’m a Fringe fan. It’s quickly become one of my favorite TV shows and once Lost finishes, Fringe will easily take its place as the “Must Watch” show of the week. So I was more than happy to read and review this trade.
The trade is broken down into eleven parts, varying from eleven to twenty-two pages. We begin with the six part Bell and Bishop. Written by Zack Whedon, Julia Cho (pt.1) Mike Johnson (pt2), Alex Katsnelson (parts. 3,4,5,6,), Danielle DiSpaltro (parts. 4,5,6) and Justin Doble (pt.6) and the art handled nicely by Tom Mandrake. This story shows us the first meeting of Bell and Bishop in the 70’s at Harvard and the experiments that made them legends. Now I know that’s vague, but this story’s full of so many twists and turns that I don’t want to give away too much. With so many writers, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the narrative flowed. In fact, the only thing wrong with this story is the irritating nick names Bell and Bishop give each other, (belly and bish! Highly questionable!) and how often they use them. Despite this minor quibble the story rocks!
The next five short stories deal with varying degrees of weirdness that some how fit into the Pattern. The first story; the Prisoner, written by Alex Katsnelson and Danielle DiSpaltro with art by Simon Coleby, deals with the transferring of someones consciousness into another person and the nightmare that ensues. This is followed by Strangers on a Train, written again by Katsnelson with Matthew Pitts with art by Tom Mandrake, who handles the remainder of the art. This short noir-style story deals with a lost brief case and the crazy mind-trip to get it back. Next comes Run Away, (which in my opinion is the strangest story) written by Mike Johnson. It deals with the escape of a child who is toxic to be around, through his own eyes. The second to last story, Space Cowboy, written Kim Cavyan is my least favorite story. Dealing with a soon-to-be astronaut, the lengths he’s willing to go to get there and the down fall of experiments gone wrong. Lastly; my favorite story. Written by Mike Johnson, Hard Copy is a cool little story about Massive Dynamic, cloning and one hard-nosed reporter digging dangerously into things she shouldn’t. Now all the short stories are good to varying degrees and eagle eyed readers will notice a certain Observer watching some of the proceedings. I guess you need to start watching the show…
Just like the TV show this book moves at break neck speed giving us, the reader, just enough to form guesses of what’s going on. And yet it still adds more questions to the mystery making you want to come back for more. If you haven’t watched Fringe, (what’s wrong with you go and watch it! And that includes you Jonny!) you should not read this book, but to all Fringe fans; rejoice and pick this up. You wont be disappointed.