#9 marks the conclusion of The Unwritten‘s second arc, and gives the book another huge push forward as Carey and Gross take Tom and Lizzie, along with a few new companions, out of the jail. While the events of “The Inside Man” have certainly wrapped up, once again, Carey and Gross have dramatically changed the book’s status quo, moving forward at a lightning pace towards a conclusion I couldn’t begin to predict. It’s exciting, well-characterized and excellently illustrated – “The Inside Man” did not serve to deepen the world quite as much as “Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity” or the excellent “How the Whale Become”, but it nonetheless illustrated the book’s many strengths while moving yet more pieces into place.
Gross continues to provide some memorable images to the issue, from tragic death to shocking transformation, as he illustrates the chaos Tom’s present has brought to Chadron’s French prison. Gross’ action remains a little static, but otherwise the issue finds him in top form. The Unwritten suggests with every issue that it is a future Vertigo classic in the making. Even if it doesn’t live up to that promise, however, “The Inside Man” definitely ends with a bang.
– Cal Cleary