They say children are the future and they are certainly the future of the plot in this issue of Stillwater. The focus here shifts to Galen, who it turns out might look like a child and partly act a child but has a lot more to him than any typical boy his apparent age. He’s probably one of the most dangerous people in Stillwater which makes things really interesting.
Now, thanks to clever manipulations and sheer child stubbornness Galen is in charge. We see Galen’s story in flashbacks, the world he has been forced to not grow up in. There’s a really neat call back to the first issue giving a new perspective on events which I found really interesting as it sort of shifts how things have unfolded in a slightly new direction
I don’t want to say too much about the plot because the shocks are best experienced unspoiled. Needless to say Stillwater seems to do something to people who end up with power and as we’ve seen power corrupts. Daniel (yes we’ve not forgotten about him) ends this issue as trapped in the town as ever he was, perhaps more so. There are lots of ways for things to develop even though some plots have been more wrapped up.
There’s some really good character work in this one. That’s all I want to say about the plot.
Speaking of character work the art really nails characters as well. Galen is a character with a few different layers to him and the art works really well in balancing the line between child and child who is not a child. There’s cynicism mixed with innocence in Galen’s face and that really helps sell the fact that he is not an ordinary boy. We see it in some of the other children but it’s really clear with Galen. The expressions work so well.
The general tone itself and the creepiness and strange nature of the town really comes across in the art. The almost pulp horror atmosphere is expressed really well in the depictions of the people and their home. There is such a great mix of the places portrayed from the children’s treehouse village to the barn where Galen holds court. All the buildings and landscapes are suitably creepy.
Stillwater #10 really pushes the story along and provides a slightly new direction to travel in. As we approach the end of this second arc it feels like there’s still revelations and a few more twists and turns to come. There’s plenty more to be revealed in Stillwater as I feel we’ve not quite scratched the surface.