Reviews, Comics

W0rldtr33 #8 Review: Mixed Signals

Discover more about the latest issue of James Tynion IV and Fernando Blanco’s W0rldtr33 from Image Comics.

W0rldtr33 8 Review Cover
Image: Image Comics
By: Javier ReyesFeb 29, 2024, 10:00 AM

W0rldtr33 #8

Review
Rating
7
Solid
W0rldtr33 8 Full Cover

Writer: James Tynion IV

Artist: Fernando Blanco

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: February 28, 2024

Page Count: 32

Format: Single-issue

This latest issue of James Tynion IV and Fernando Blanco’s W0rldtr33 shows flashes of what made the series great, but it ultimately is bogged down by slow pacing and disjointed world-building.

James Tynion IV is a writer who has a lot on their plate but still puts out incredible comics. With hits like The Deviant and Something is Killing the Children, he’s quickly become one of the most recognized names in comics today. Yet, amongst the great releases the celebrated writer put out last year, W0rldtr33 was one of Image Comics’ most intriguing new series. But does this latest issue live up to the series’ strong start? Continue reading for my review of W0rldtr33 #8!

Overview

Even after his death, Gabriel Winter is still the one pulling the strings. Through a prerecorded message, Gabriel details the plans he set in motion to stop the influence of the Undernet from spreading. It’s up to Amanda, Darren, Yoshi, and Liam to combine their expertise in tech to find the people behind the resurgence of the evil website. Their first lead is the woman who has been connected to the terror since the beginning: PH34R. 

W0rldtr33 8 - woman and police talkingImage: Image Comics

Review

W0rldtr33 was easily one of my favorite new comics from last year. As someone who essentially grew up on the Internet, I was fascinated by the comic’s concept of a psychological virus that corrupts people who visit a shady website. After all, it’s not like we don’t see enough of those kinds of websites already in the real world. Kidding aside, the comic presented a rare blend of sci-fi and horror elements that felt captivating to read. I was especially excited to see how much more the plot and concept could grow beyond the first story arc. 

Unfortunately, this second story arc has lacked the spark that made the series’ introduction so promising. The pacing in issues #6 and #7 has slowed the story to a crawl, as they have spent so much time establishing the characters’ whereabouts after the world-altering events at the end of the first arc. Issue #8 feels more of the same, with the focal point being Gabriel’s prerecorded message for Amanda and the rest of the team of hackers. After Gabriel opens his message with the classic “If you’re seeing this, then I’m already dead” line, we finally get up to speed on the plans he set in motion to stop the influence of the Undernet from spreading. But as good as that sounds on paper to get more plot progression in this issue, it’s a bit deflating to realize that things are only picking up now that we’re already more than halfway through the arc. Not only that, but the overall mission briefing falls a bit flat because much of what Gabriel talks about feels like information that we, the readers, know from the story already. PH34R being the key to finding the answers hardly feels like a big revelation at this point because her connections to the Undernet have been as clear as day since the series began. The fact that the crew didn’t figure that out on their own before being told so makes them seem like they lack urgency when the world is seemingly collapsing.

W0rldtr33 8 - people watching recordingImage: Image Comics

That supposed state of the comics’s world ties directly to my main gripe about the second story arc: the lackluster and disjointed world-building. Characters will often talk about how the world is in chaos because of the internet shutting down. But apart from brief glimpses of PH34R lurking in the shadows and corrupting innocent people, we hardly see how badly society is coping with such a drastic change. You’d think having the Internet get shut down in the modern day would cause near-cataclysmic societal shifts. Instead, the comic shows cars still flooding highways and people going about their daily lives as if nothing much has changed. So, despite the art team of Fernando Blanco, Jordie Bellaire, and Aditya Bidikar doing incredible work in this series, there’s a bit of a disconnect between what’s being said in the story and what we’re being shown.

Final Thoughts

As much as I enjoyed the first story arc of W0rldtr33, I’m beginning to have mixed feelings about the series’ trajectory after several issues with glacial plot progression. While this latest issue does have a bit more going on compared to the first half of the arc, what gets revealed doesn’t feel as exciting as it can be. The bright side is that, at least, all the pieces are finally in place for the story to make significant strides in the coming issues. I don’t doubt James Tynion IV and crew have something crazy planned for the back half of the arc. It’s just that with where things stand right now, there’s very little that has me eager to see what comes next in the series. 

W0rldtr33 8 - people sitting around a tableImage: Image Comics

Why You Should Read W0rldtr33

  • The pieces are in place for the story to start significantly moving forward.
  • The art team of Fernando Blanco, Jordie Bellaire, and Aditya Bidikar is doing incredible work in this series. 
  • This issue has more flashes of horror compared to the first half of the arc.
TAGGED: Image Comics
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