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Life is Strange’s comic sequel seems made for Max and Chloe ’shippers

For better or for worse

The first season of Life is Strange refuses to end. Despite the game’s last episode wrapping up the story of Max Caulfield, Chloe Price and the hellstorm that besieged their hometown nearly three years ago, season one’s fanbase demands more. And if you can’t beat them, join ‘em: We now have a comic book continuation from Titan Comics, picking up one year after one of the season’s two endings.

[Ed. note: Spoiler warning for Life is Strange: Season One.]

The first issue of Life is Strange sets the story after the ending preferred by Max-and-Chloe lovers: Arcadia Bay, their town, is destroyed by the hurricane that threatens to decimate it throughout the season. Max and Chloe manage to escape unscathed, and have now begun a new life in Seattle. As an original miniseries following a unique storyline, there’s a lot of table-setting to explain how they ended up there, and what’s going on now.

Some of this works and isn’t just reiterative. We learn that Max and Chloe have befriended a diverse group of teens who formed a punk band, and that several people they knew in Arcadia Bay died in the storm. Most notable of these is Nathan Prescott, one of Max and Chloe’s biggest enemies. (Whether or not that’s good is debatable.)

Biggest of all: Max and Chloe live together, a pair attached at the hip, making each other happy and vowing to protect each other. They’re a couple in all but name. It’s good, cute stuff, although anyone expecting much more than handholding, hugging and G-rated, implied romance will be left wanting. But Life is Strange was never about showing the more physical parts of relationships, anyway. This is a story about teens. Now our teens are fairly obviously in love, just as many of the biggest fans wanted.

Max and Chloe in the Life is Strange comic series
Max and Chloe in comic book form.
Titan Comics

While Life is Strange’s comic book follow-up seems at first like validation for first-season players that just wanted to spend more time with Max and Chloe, the slow-paced first issue eventually comes to a turning point. Emphasis on “slow-paced;” not much happens during the scant 24 pages, especially if your patience has worn thing for the series’ version of teen talk. (The team from Titan Comics stays faithful to Season One’s dialogue, but Life is Strange’s writing was definitely the worst part about it.) And with only three issues left, the amount of time spent spinning its wheels makes this first part feel like a very dull pilot episode.

At least the brief setup for what’s coming up is enticing enough to encourage folks to see Max and Chloe’s latest adventure through ... even if it seems like this isn’t going to be a sweet wrap-up like we may have hoped. Seeing Max and Chloe again, this time cuddlier than ever, is nice. But hints that their seeming happy ending may not actually be happy at all somehow feels worse than Life is Strange’s canonical ending, the one that made ’shippers demand for a comic like this in the first place.

Life is Strange #1 is available Nov. 14 for $3.99; four preview pages are in the gallery below. No date yet for the second part, so we’ll have to hold out until ... sometime. Fingers crossed that the couple stays together until then.

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