The Family Trade #4

by Olivier Roth on January 17, 2018

Written by: Justin Jordan & Nikki Ryan

Art by: Morgan Beem

Published by: Image


Another month arrives and once again we as readers get treated to another fun instalment of The Family Trade from Jordan, Ryan and Beem. The issue begins where the last left off, Jessa facing off against a multitude of enemies as she has just fallen into the trap of the Family’s traitor. After putting up a valiant effort to try and get away, she is quickly overpowered and captured.


This leads to the secondary story which finds Jessa’s friend Pri, also recently captured, but this time by the actual Family, as she is being questioned by the Bookmaker (the leader). Pri from the start of the series has been a pretty fun to read character because of her overconfidence in what seems to be everything, and that continues with her interactions with the Bookmaker. Throughout the issue, as it is split between her and Jessa, we get to experience a lot more of who Pri is, and I must admit, she is exactly the type of character I really enjoy in comics: completely self-assured, knows that she is probably the smartest in the room at all times, and able to steer conversations to where they need to be. Her valuable deductions help the Bookmaker to realize what is going on, and how he can help Jessa.


On Jessa’s end, she ends up being interrogated by the politician that was introduced in earlier issues, Berghardt - who is clearly based on a certain current president - as well as the traitor. Jessa, herself no slouch at the whole subterfuge game, needs to find a way out of this predicament, and how she does it is awesome (was there any doubt that she would?).


The art by Beem continues to be spectacular throughout the issue. Painted art is always awesome to take in, especially when done right, and Beem does just that. There are sometimes the body compositions seem a little off from panel to panel, but that is a minor gripe. Another minor gripe comes from some of the dialogue in the book - some of the voices, now that we are four issues in, seem stilted at times. It doesn’t take you out of the story too much, but just enough to be noticeable at times.


However, the world building that Jordan, Ryan and Beem are doing within The Family Trade is spectacular and that more than makes up for some minor gripes. What helps their efforts is the supplements at the back of the comic - something not to be missed - where we first get a small blurb from Jordan explaining some of the decisions he’s had to make while building this story (i.e. how the inhabitants of the Raft are deadly afraid of fire and how he chooses to convey this to the read). The second part of the supplements is another short essay from the point of one of the characters that explains some of the mysteries of the Raft, and how it continues to thrive as its own isolated society. These, on their own, are great since they add to the world without taking too much real estate within the story itself.

Our Score:


A Look Inside