"Eternity In An Hour"

I recently re-purchased The Spectre #13 (DC) by J.M. DeMatteis and San Jose Local-Boy-Done-Good, Ryan Sook as a gift for a close friend. Man, I'd forgotten how good this issue is! Ryan is a friend of a friend, so I know him loosely and have followed his career with great interest. I picked up all of The Spectre issues when they came out, including this one, but it's always stuck in my memory. Even reading it again 5 years later (Ryan's web-site lists it as a 2002 issue), it's exceptionally strong.

DeMatteis lays down an intricate, complex, time-spanning, romantic and moving love story here. There are so many layers of meaning to sift through, but the notes that hit me strongly this time around involved sacrifice and putting someone else's needs above your own. The concept of experiencing "Eternity in an Hour," an entire lifetime in one, single hour is really powerful. I like the idea of feeling a sense of completion from a person, even if only in their presence for relatively brief bouts of time, or "fugitive lifetimes," as the writer dubs them. As usual, Ryan's pencils totally deliver. He uses some inventive panels, with striking imagery that compliment the free floating prose perfectly. This was truly a unique experience and an innovative issue that pushed the bounds of the medium. It was a joy to take in all over again as I shared it with someone and will get to see their first-time reaction.

It's one of my favorite single issues of all time. Grade A+.


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