Last issue left Robert in the home of Hector, Alan Moore’s clear analogous version of Herbert West, and things are not as safe for Robert as he thinks, especially as Hector makes him a proposition over breakfast.
It turns out that James and Hector have to move on as their, behaviour and experiments have been uncovered by the university, so they leave Robert to get ready to move on as he continues to research his book.
After some conversation Robert finally get’s his hands on a copy of Hali’s Book.
Moore’s built up this book over the course of Providence so at the series halfway point we finally get what’s been the subject of Robert’s quest, and one of the things that’s been lurking in the background quietly creating a feeling of dread in that this book is a terrible, terrible thing.
After reading the book, Robert is confused to say the least, He’s got no idea what the date is, or how long he’s been in Manchester, or why the university’s youngest student Elspeth is taking such an interest in him. Meanwhile the slow sense of disquiet Moore’s built up starts to turn to unease as Black isn’t a bad man, far from it. He’s a good man, but I can’t help feeling that something quite terrible is going to come for him as some point in this story.
And it’s in Elspeth’s lodgings that something terrible happens.
And Moore doesn’t let up as to what happens, and it’s not easy to read as that terrible thing that’s been building up happening to Robert happens and it’s horrible. Really horrible, It’s also going to set off Moore’s critics but all is not as it seems here and did I say that Moore makes it completely horrible?
It’s brilliantly written, but it’s Jacen Burrows splendid art that brings home the horror. There’s little moments of subtlety in all the grotesque depictions of events that confirms Burrows as a fine comic artist that should be getting as much praise as Moore is for this series, because without a good artist this issue, and the final pages especially, wouldn’t work.
The slow burn in Providence pays off here and with another six issues to go things can’t get worse for poor Robert can they?