Title: High Level (2019-) #3
Words: Rob Sheridan
Art: Barnaby Bagenda
Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Published: April 17, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: Thirteen’s serious doubts about Minnow’s supposedly messianic powers are profoundly challenged when the mysterious child does the impossible to save them both from starving to death in the desert. But survival doesn’t mean safety when the pair’s already-harrowing quest to High Level requires a detour through Nibi Outpost, a treacherous smugglers’ network built under the ruins of the old world…
As Thirteen and Minnow make their way through the Outlands, the pair find themselves in the Nibi Outpost, a raunchy and bloodthirsty stopover. While Minnow takes in the sights, Thirteen collects supplies and plans their next course. But the Nibi Outpost proves to be a particularly dangerous stop on the journey.
Rob Sheridan delivers another exceptional issue in High Level (2019-) #3. Thirteen’s character continues to take shape, slowly revealing the nuances of her person through her connection with Minnow. Similarly, the world of High Level expands as the characters move between settings, each as strange and complex as the one before. Sheridan proves a master storyteller in High Level (2019-) #3, as he threads political and social commentary into the story. Beyond the immediate story, Sheridan begins to reveal elements of the larger narrative in this issue. Something deeply traumatic happened to the world, and its scars remain in the wreckage, but what? I look forward to uncovering those answers while I follow Thirteen’s journey.
The art in High Level really takes the series to the next level. Panel after panel, Barnaby Bagenda unveils a detailed world that tells its own story, separate from Thirteen’s journey. Across the wrecked and ruined landscape, Bagenda adds detail after detail hint towards a darker story. The panel featuring the wall with “borders are death sentences” scrolled in red paint across it was particularly chilling. As I pry deeper into the High Level’s backstory, Bagenda’s art offers clues in the details. Take your time looking through the issue, there’s plenty of scenery to take in.
The Bottom Line
High Level (2019-) #3 is an intensely well-crafted story, part world-building, part action, all entertainment. Rob Sheridan and Barnaby Bagenda create a high-energy issue, that’s difficult to put down.