Review by Frank Plowright
There’s a bigger picture to people in San Diego acquiring super powers. We’ve already seen they’re sold by a pair of chancers at $5000 a time, using a device that they perhaps don’t fully understand, yet nonetheless trust. Mike Carey has been dropping in the occasional comment about it, and as he did in Nightmare Scenario, he begins Seven Walls and a Trap with a chapter ignoring Leo Winters and his problems, this time focusing more on those power dispensers, here named Hailey and Jed. We learn there’s much more to what they’ve been doing, and Carey switches expectations beautifully with almost the full revelation of what’s been going on. Hailey and Jed are minor scammers and Carey’s imaginative background is superb, filling in the gaps in what’s previously been revealed and opening a door to new dangers. Jorge Coelho’s art is slightly more stylised than we’re used to from Elena Casagrande, but as he’s dealing with separate events that’s no big deal.
When Carey and Casagrande return to the cliffhanger featuring Leo that ended Nightmare Scenario they immediately ramp up the threat and tension. It’s been revealed that Leo’s memories and personality have probably been artificially constructed, which is one hell of thing to process, and while he’s doing that, we’re also processing that the super powered criminals we’ve seen are far more dangerous than has so far been disclosed. It won’t affect single people as much, but for anyone with a family Carey’s created a nightmare scenario way beyond Magneto rampaging downtown. That’s an instant of terror, but the horror here runs deep and long.
Casagrande’s art has its usual polish and supplies the occasional surprise such as the effect on the sample page. That’s actually a pivotal piece of story, but needs the context to make it so. Because explanations tumble through Seven Walls and a Trap, much talking is needed, often several pages of confrontation, yet the way Casagrande lays these conversations out ensures they always hold the interest.
A being called Requiem was revealed at the end of Nightmare Scenario, and we come to know him here. He’s resolutely unpleasant, almost invulnerable and slaughters without mercy. You wouldn’t want to knock on his door and ask him to keep the noise down. He’s been contained, and now he’s re-emerging, which is a concern for everyone.
By the final page’s excellent cliffhanger, Carey has almost entirely explained everything we’ve wanted to know since Suicide Risk began, and it’s exceeded expectation, brilliantly conceived and nicely concealed. A whole new world has been opened up, and it takes us to Jericho next.