As the year draws to a close, so does the captivating first arc of Eliot Rahal’s “Under the Influence,” inviting readers to grab their favorite condiments and delve into a story that refuses to be confined by the conventional. This comic series, characterized by its wild narrative and unique approach, culminates in a final issue that promises to leave a lasting impression.
In the concluding episode of “Under the Influence,” the narrative reaches a fever pitch. The FBI’s investigation is on the brink of completion, the fate of the character Paul is irreversibly sealed, and Cara is faced with a pivotal decision that could change everything. Amidst this chaos, one thing remains certain: the spirit of the Hot Dog Party, a recurring thematic element, remains undying, symbolizing the series’ unorthodox and spirited essence.
Critics have lauded “Under the Influence” for its various artistic and narrative strengths. Justin Soderberg of Capes and Tights highlights the artwork of Stefano Simeone, describing it as “beautifully done.” He acknowledges that while the art may sometimes appear chaotic, it does not detract from the story’s excellent storytelling. Moreover, Soderberg notes the noteworthy lettering by Frank Cvetkovic, adding another layer of appreciation to the comic’s craftsmanship.
Gabriel Hernandez from Comical Opinions commends the series for its clever mystery elements, focusing on an Internet Influencer whose actions border on cult leadership. Hernandez finds the portrayal of groupthink and collective behavior in the series to be unsettlingly realistic, leading readers down a path filled with dark and intriguing twists.
Mike Eakins of Comic Watch draws intriguing comparisons, suggesting that if “Never Been Kissed” and “21 Jump Street” were melded into a modern-day drama with a touch of David Lynch’s directorial style, the result would resemble “Under the Influence.” He praises the balance of fun and poignancy in the story, pointing out its relevance and realism.
Anton Kromoff from Comicon touches on the timeliness of the comic, highlighting its relevance in an era dominated by internet culture. He observes that the series mirrors real-life scenarios where people chase online views, sparking conflict among those who fail to understand this new digital dynamic.
In summary, “Under the Influence” has garnered acclaim for its unique storytelling, artistic brilliance, and its reflection of contemporary societal themes. As it reaches its conclusion, it leaves behind a legacy of being more than just a comic; it’s a mirror to the oddities and realities of our internet-driven world.