Zeb Larson reviews Roche Limit: Monadic #3…
In the penultimate issue of the hit acclaimed sci-fi trilogy, Sasha plots a way to stop Moscow and the Black Sun once and for all.
Roche Limit has been the best high-concept science fiction series for the last two years. This makes it difficult to view its impending end without some sadness; apart from Bitch Planet, we don’t really have anything of this caliber at the moment. Yet I’m also excited as we get to the end, to the real nature of the anomaly and the dark god that lives inside of it. The penultimate issue of this series has always been the one to give us answers, and this one is no exception. It draws together all of the outlying narrative threads and brings them together for the final confrontation with the Black Sun. This review will not be spoiler-free, so read on at your own peril.
Alex expires from his injuries in Bekkah’s arms, but as his soul leaves his body, Sonya gets an idea. After visiting the doctor, she realizes that Moscow’s soul could be captured the same way if they manage to kill his body. She rallies everybody she can to head to the tower, where Moscow is all too happy to greet them. Sasha finally breaks through into the city, and she and her daughter escape while her husband stays behind to hold off the aliens. She’s finally able to answer the message she’s been hearing and reaches, Danny. Decades have passed since they last spoke, and Elbus is long-dead. While Danny initially fears he’s lost his mind, he agrees to help, and tells her that there is a way to collapse the Anomaly.
It’s nice to see these three storylines finally coming together, especially the long-absent Danny. I’m wondering how exactly Danny will collapse the anomaly, and what that will happen to those who are still inside it. There’s also the question of what exactly is inside the tower. Is it going to be the cosmic horror we’ve been expecting all along, or something else? Moreci does usually like his horrors to be beyond the pale of what we can imagine, but I’m also wondering whether he’s going to subvert that.
I was somewhat unclear what Bekkah hopes to accomplish with Moscow’s soul. Sure, the good doctor can shuffle the soul around; are they hoping to use it to get into the Tower? That seems like the most likely explanation, but it could also tie into the plan to destroy the Anomaly (though that raises an additional question of how they would be aware of this).
It’s the behavior of the projections that really intrigues me in this issue. All along, we’ve suspected and known that what Alex has been seeing things that aren’t really there, dreamt up by the Anomaly to better test its human inhabitants. Yet for being a creator, it doesn’t seem to have any actual control over its creations. How many of the people there are actually human? We know Sasha’s husband wasn’t, and we thought that Sonya and Bekkah escaped. All of this comes back to the fact that the being in the Anomaly simply can’t seem to understand human life, and even recreating it seems to result in an imperfect simulacrum. It just can’t quite get it right.
We’re set up for an excellent action piece in the upcoming issue, one with an appropriately high body count. But for me, that pales before finally seeing how this whole thing is going to end. Roche Limit, for all of its bleakness and horror, has been a series about the capacity for hope in the face of overwhelming problems. It is, in its own way, an optimistic series. Is that going to hold through to the end, or is the rug going to be swept out from under our feet? I can’t wait to see.
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