Amelia Cole and the Enemy Unleashed TPB (vol. 3) – Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride

4 out of 5

After somewhat playing the waiting game in volume 2, Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride, and Nick Brokenshire do their readers right by picking up immediately on the doorstep of possibilities on which those issues ultimately left us. Amelia suspects The Magistrate of all sorts of fakery, and does her usual by charmingly blabbing about it to her neighbors, then jumping right into disruption without much of a plan beyond outright confrontation. that doesn’t go so well, of course, which coincides with Hector’s troupe of fellow soldiers’ scuffle in the desert not going so well, either, leading to a heft of volume 3 being piecemeal battles with monsters, while fending off the magic-suckery of the spooky hooded bosses.

While there’s a lot going on up front in volume 3, the forward momentum helps to sharpen Hector’s side of things – a weaker aspect of generic “buck up soldier!”isms in volume 2 – and calls for more creativity from the creators in terms of Amelia’s skill set and approach, dealing with an overpowering and energy-siphoning foe. Kirkbride, over the course of the run, has become really deft at deciding where to expend his energies and where he can afford to drop some details, allowing the cover-to-cover frantic pace of things to never slow down.

Some of the inbetween moments – linking dialogue and scenes – do end up feeling like they’re missing, perhaps as a consequence of an online-first presentation. This has existed since the start of Amelia Cole, and it’s never too much of an issue, but as the plot has become tighter and more streamlined, these hiccups are a little more noticeable. I’m also not necessarily keen on where the plot leaves us for volume 4, but it’s admittedly a logical next step. But as we’re talking about the literal last pages of an otherwise page-turning six chapters, I’d say that’s an acceptable balance.

The trade again includes some extra strips – which are again cute but don’t really add too much to the experience – a few pinups, and an interview.