Issues of Alexander Tucker’s Entity Reunion seem to come along on a three-year cycle but each standalone offering provides a hypnotic mix of the oblique, the weird, and the elusive. They are stories presented to hint at realities just at the edges of our understanding, full of imagery that suggests truths that are unfathomable and yet, on some visceral level, innately familiar even if they are intangibly out of reach. In Entity Reunion 3 Tucker also imbues his pages with a sense of something malevolent in the gaps between our perceptions.
As with all of Tucker’s work Entity Reunion 3 is not about piecing together a hidden story, or even trying to define authorial intent, as much as it is about the readers’ own reactions to the page and the feelings it evokes in them. Most of this volume uses full one-page panels taken from the perspective of a mostly unseen protagonist. We observe their phone photography and its results which fail to capture an image of what they are focussing on but rather reproduce a crudely indeterminate face instead.
As events move on, environment rapidly changes between panels with the mysterious visage transposing itself from digital to outward existence and back again before a sudden sequential switch takes us into a dramatic if deliberately ungraspable denouement. This is made all the more affecting by Tucker’s earlier insistence on making the reader dwell on individual illustrations and absorbing them in an almost sedate fashion. An unlikely juxtaposition of tranquil pacing and unsettling illustration that is both complementary and contradictory.
What each reader takes from Entity Reunion 3 may be their own but there’s a sensation here of malevolent forces trying to break through and establish a concrete foothold on our plane; of the contrast between arcane, physical artefacts and the online world in creating that entry point; and an adversarial, manipulative relationship between these entities and those who may be inadvertently allowing their transition.
It seems rather strange to be saying that this unknowable, almost narratively evasive story is Tucker’s most accessible yet but oddly enough it is. Do not let the numbering put you off either. Entity Reunion 3 is a discrete offering; a succession of spellbindingly sinister images that will draw you in and entice you to investigate more from this truly distinctive voice in UK comics.
Alexander Tucker (W/A) • Undimensioned
Review by Andy Oliver