Comics, Reviews

The Cull #3 Comic Review: Teenage Evolution

Dive deeper into the bizarre world of The Cull and uncover more of the horrifying secrets lying just underneath its surface.

The Cull #3 Review Cover
Image: Image Comics
By: Javier ReyesFeb 23, 2024, 2:13 AM

The Cull #3

Review
Rating
9
Good
The Cull #3 Full Cover

Writer: Kelly Thompson

Artist: Mattia De Iulis

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: October 10, 2023

Format: Single-issue

The Cull evolves into something greater as it dives deeper into its fantastical world. This fast-paced issue brings a fascinating twist for the story to get even weirder from here.

The Cull has been one of Image Comics’ most promising new series this year. While what drew me in was Mattia De Iulis' eye-catching art style, it’s the character writing of Kelly Thompson that hooked me on the series. It’s been a blast following this group of charming teenagers diving deeper into the comic’s bizarrely whimsical world. Then, just when I thought I had a grasp of where the story was going, this latest issue came along and completely flipped the script on my expectations.

Intrigued to know more? Let’s check out my review of The Cull #3!

Wade in The Meadow

Overview

A strange creature in the forest confronts Cleo and the gang. It doesn’t speak a word of English at first, but it picks up the language fast after talking to Wade for a few minutes. It looks to be part plant, part “red panda,” and part human. It turns out to be everything all in one, as it’s connected to every living thing the teenagers see around them. As part of a powerful hivemind, the creature wants the kids to be a part of it too.

By tapping into their bodies, the creature awakens a power within each of them. All except for Cleo. It seems there’s something inside her that makes her different from the others, and it does not jive well with the creature. That’s when things turn violent.

Katie gets powers

Review

After the character-focused story in the last issue, this latest chapter delivers exactly the narrative shift I have been waiting for since the comic’s intriguing debut. Though I will admit, having the group of teenagers develop superpowers was not on my bingo card when I first picked up this series. As a big fan of comics like The New Mutants, I couldn’t be happier to see this comic take on the trope of teenagers having superpowers. Not to jump the gun and label The Cull as a “superhero” comic or anything, but I just can’t stop my brain from imagining the superpowered teenage hijinks this group will have as they plunge deeper into the strangeness of their world. The pace ramps up quickly by the midway point of the issue, showing plenty of exciting moments with the gang using their different powers as a team. It was a fun ride that ultimately brought a new twist to the comic’s already compelling story.

Beyond the more overt character developments, this issue also notably adds some intrigue to Cleo’s story. Unlike the others, she is the only one not gifted with powers. Having the lead character be the odd one out among the group makes for an interesting dynamic, as it sets her up to go on a more personal journey than the others. It could even pan out that the powers are more curse than blessing. After all, they did come from a strange creature that talked about “culling the unworthy.” That seems like a red flag if I ever did see one. With so many directions now on the table, I’m fascinated to see where things go from here.

With the story now spreading its wings more, Mattia De Iulis’ captivating art shines even brighter in this issue. Having such realistic-looking characters makes the more fantastical elements of the world pop even more, especially in the scenes with the “red panda” creature. There’s an eerie, uncanny valley feeling from seeing something otherworldly have realistic human facial features. Then, after the fantastic cliffhanger at the end, I can’t wait to see what other freaky stuff the gang comes across in their adventure that’s only just beginning.

Cleo gets judged

Final Thoughts

As much as I enjoyed the first two issues of The Cull, this latest installment is what really sells me on the series. Everything from the character work to the world-building has me hooked on seeing what happens next. When things got weird quick, I loved everything about it. Kelly Thompson and Mattia De Iulis are cooking up something special with this series, and you don’t want to miss out on it.

Why You Should Read The Cull

  • The pace and weirdness of the story are quickly picking up.
  • Mattia De Iulis’ art is mesmerizing throughout the series.
  • This issue ends with an incredible cliffhanger.
TAGGED: Image Comics
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