Here we are, four months after we were thrown back into the world left battered and bruised by the events of the opening season of Life is Strange. We’ve travelled from Seattle with heroes Max Caulfield and Chloe Price back to the ruins of Arcadia Bay and watched as the pair came face-to-face with their past nightmares. But now it is their uncertain future that becomes the girls’ main concern.
Time manipulating Max and her unwitting partner in her Linchian antics, Chloe, have been through hell over the last couple of years. The last few days have tested the pair as much, if not more than the events in their hometown a year ago. But as the couple are pushed and pulled through a multitude of differing timelines and alternate realities, painful decisions need to be made.
Max’s near constant transitions between realities have taken such a severe physical toll on both her and Chloe that the Blackwell Academy Photography graduate knows the only way to save the pair is to try and reset the timelines; and maybe lose her closest friend forever. At the same time, Chloe sees what their predicament is doing to her dear friend and is desperate to do something to try and save her. As our heroes both fight to save the other, how it turns out is anyone’s guess.
When the first issue of “Dust” was released back in November, it was to equal parts excitement and trepidation. Chloe and Max’s story was wrapped up nicely with the original season of the Dontnod produced game. The idea of giving us a canon ending and continuing the girls’ story didn’t necessarily appeal to fans who, while desperate to spend more time with our heroes, maybe don’t want the near-perfect world the Square-Enix published game presented them interfered with.
Now four issues down the line, fans aren’t concerned about those things any more. They’re frothing at the mouth for more of Emma Vieceli’s story and itching to see how this final part of this arc will wrap up.
Luckily for everyone that invested in this extended story, there is absolutely no disappointment to be found in issue #4’s 23 pages. Those that have played the games will find that familiar feeling of the story wrapping up in the pit of their stomach. Along with Vieceli’s masterful writing, Claudia Leonardi’s tremendous artwork brings out all those gut-wrenching feelings in a way that only Life is Strange fans can understand.
Readers will be forced to watch the friends struggle with their decisions, struggle with each other and struggle with the realisation that no matter who has the stronger will to make the right choice for the other and the world around them, both will lose more than maybe they are willing to. As this arc draws to a close, those final panels will bring your heart up to your throat, sink your stomach lower than you ever thought it could go and bring tears to already stinging eyes. And as you turn that last, beautifully illustrated page, every reader will be thankful that a new story begins in just a few short weeks.
Issue #4 is a perfect final act, lovingly written and drawn by people that clearly adore the characters and the world they are drawing inspiration from. Every single person that has come along for this ride will be rewarded for their dedication. And then some.
Just remember… This action will have consequences.