See What You Saw

Apr 18, 2023


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All Eight Eyes #1 - James Stokoe Variant

In the world we live in there appear to be only two types of stories or situations  – yours and mine/ours.  And unfortunately, we often do not see and fully understand what is happening on the other side.  This allows for blind spots and shadows where anything can lurk and anything can happen to anybody; leaving a mystery.  All Eight Eyes #1, from publisher Dark Horse Comics, is one such story.

All Eight Eyes #1

Dark Horse Comics

Script: Steve Foxe
Art: Piotr Kowalski
Colors: Brad Simpson
Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

All Eight Eyes #1 opens with one of the main characters, a twenty something named Vin, experiencing a scene you may have seen before.   Back from the club, high as a kite and with a hookup.  However, Vin discovers his roomate has evicted him for failure to pay rent.  

Actually, you may have no idea what is going on – like a haze is clouding your vision.  

It is possible. There are portions of the population living with their heads in the clouds; seeing things from their perspective.  This may also be why writer Steve Foxe chose Alphabet City as the setting for All Eight Eyes.  After Vin witnesses and learns some things about his city, his world, it is as if the words “sesame” were spoken.  Similar to a Third Eye opening, his reality will never be the same again. 

What makes All Eight Eyes work is that on the surface it is just another scary story.  However, when you consider the whole body of evidence shown in just this first issue, there are two segments – or sentiments – on display.  

Out on the streets, Vin stumbles on what looks like a mugging or murder being committed by a man we later come to know as Reynolds.  This is the type of moment for Vin, and each of us, to either look away or be turned into a pillar.  Because even if you don’t turn as salty as Lot, the experience will change you in every way for the rest of your life.  You become a testimony to what you have witnessed.  Though he omits portions during his backstory, this is how Reynolds came to live on the streets.  And the reason he chooses to use his remaining days the way he does.  Taking on a threat that few are aware of (or care to look into) that threatens everybody.  

All Eight Eyes #1 Int Art

It takes some convincing to get Vin to start to see things differently.  A look inside the sack that contains what the vet was killing is an eye opener. That may leave you covering yours.  All Eight Eyes identifies a scenario we all have encountered; it’s just a spider.  What’s missing in that statement is the most important part – the indirect object, you.  So what image comes to mind when you hear the word “spider”?  Or homelessness and high?  Not your problem.  That is the underbelly this first issue shows, how this nothing (or nobody) can become a real situation. If no one pays attention to the pleas.  At eighty millimeters, spiders certainly are itsy and bitsy, but what about when they grow to eight feet in length?  And just think the appetite that goes with it said the spider to…you.

While Foxe’s script is unsettling enough, the sights in All Eight Eyes are the things that can’t be unseen. Looking at the details Piotr Kowalski adds to the arachnids is an opportunity to discuss something that may bug you. This comic may remind you of the film Eight Legged Freaks, which is a testament to the illustrators. Kowalski’s depictions of the differences in mass, leg diameter, etc are almost scientifically specific. According to Reynolds there are over 45,000 (known) species of spiders. There is a lot of room for deviations. Each species looks so different until they are looking at you, from a different angle. All around the world, still the same song.

One thing you may notice is there are always some dark shadows that creep the panels All Eight Eyes.  While most of this issue takes place at nighttime, Brad Simpson even slips this into scenes during the day with lots of activity or where there is a light source; settings some spider species avoid.  This creates an almost subconscious suspicion there could be a spider crawling somewhere on that page, waiting to pounce.  You may even notice yourself looking for webs, because once you know there is a problem somebody should do something about it, right?  

Thanks to Reynold’s assistance Vin gets to see another day, even if it doesn’t feel like a sunny one to the young man.  The clouds, and cobwebs, gone and Vin is also seeing things a little clearer.  Which is another thing you can’t dismiss about All Eight Eyes #1.  In looking beyond his immediate situation he sees that there is a bigger world, filled with bigger problems for him to deal with.  

You just need to get behind a cause that has legs. This one has eight.  

Score: 8.9