With the gang fully reunited, and enjoying a quiet New England afternoon together brewing up healing potions for Aunt Johnny's leg and arm, Rachel's wound, and Jet's scars, (while Zoey burns and tortures rats to death outside), things are almost peacefully idyllic for Rachel, Jet, Johnny, Zoey and Earl. That is until Rachel drops some heavy news on them. It's news that is most welcome, especially for one member of the group, though.
After wrapping up his opening 24 issue introductory story arc last issue (which was, according to Terry Moore himself, seemingly to be the end of Rachel's story) Moore treats us to the first episode of his "second season" of Rachel Rising, as it were, with issue #25, and the sequential art world is better for it. Terry Moore has created and drawn some of the most interesting and inspiring female characters over the years in works like Strangers in Paradise and Echo, and an untimely ending of latest creation's story would have been an injustice. It appears there is plenty more of Rachel and company's story left to tell and if you haven't been reading Rachel Rising thus far, now is the perfect time to jump on board. With the previous 24 issues now collected in trade paperback, it is also easier than ever to get on board and caught up with this great series.
From Moore's inspired Adam and Eve-like mythic cover through his hilarious (if a bit unsettling) portrayal of Zoey's giggly joy of the opportunity to have her way with the series' new, and as yet unknown, villain once he or she is caught is the stuff of comic book legend. Moore has a knack for creating characters whom the reader immediately falls either in love, or at least in sympathy, with from their first appearance. His themes, which deal with everything from gender identity, to feminist issues, to outright horror, action, and violence, as well the meaning of ones' own personal place in the world, make each issue of Rachel Rising wonderful fodder for intellectual discussion AND purely enlightening escapist reading. The complications introduced in this issue demonstrate that these themes will continue to be smartly explored over the next story arc.
Much ado has been made over Terry Moore's artistic style, and it is not for nothing. He consistently draws some of the most beautiful women ever to grace the pages of a graphic novel. Moore's females have little in common with the likes of the woefully anatomically incorrect female super heroes who grace the pages of many books on the market. No, Moore's women are strikingly beautiful, but in a natural and realistic sense. You'd probably never pass Psylocke on the streets of New England (unless you're possibly at a cosplay convention or comic con), but the likes of Rachel and Jet can populate entire college towns anywhere. Something that is often overlooked in Moore's art on Rachel Rising though is his incredibly detailed, realistic, and astonishingly beautiful recreations of the New England natural landscape. Every tree, piece of bark, stream, meadow, animal, and landscape just jumps off the page with life. He could draw a single issue of Rachel Rising that takes place outside (and he almost has) and the reader couldn't help but loose themselves in the beauty of his landscapes as much as in the beauty of his storytelling.
There aren't enough books like Rachel Rising on the market these days. Thankfully, Rachel Rising itself hasn't reached its end and Moore has more to tell and draw concerning Rachel and her group.