Life is Strange #7 asks a lot of questions about who Max Caulfield is when everything is on the line. Who will she confide in? Who can she trust? How far will she go?
Life is Strange #7
Emma Vieceli (writer), Claudia Leonardi (artist), Andrea Izzo (colorist)
July 24, 2019
Sidequest was provided with a copy of Life is Strange #7 in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The first question is easy to answer and forms the basis of this issue’s emotional arc. Max rejects Chloe’s offer of support and confides in the mysterious Boy in Black who we’ve been seeing since Life is Strange #5 (and we finally learn his name: Tristan). Even healed and happy, Chloe will be Chloe and her anger is quick to stir.
It’s unfair to blame Max, however. She and Tristan run parallel paths and he’s the first person she’s ever met with powers. He’s a dark mirror to her in every way. His black wardrobe starkly contrasts with Max’s brighter clothing. Where Max used her powers to save and help others, Tristan uses his power of invisibility to survive on the streets of L.A. As they bond over their shared guilt, Max shares it all, and Chloe is furious that her best friend has left her out.
Emma Vieceli and Claudia Leonardi do an incredible job crafting Chloe and Rachel’s relationship. It’s something that’s been left to the imagination until now—we saw its troubled beginnings in Before the Storm and heard distorted versions of what happened in Life is Strange Season One. This is the relationship that was the impetus for so much in this franchise and we can see why. Rachel and Chloe are just good together. They each counter the other’s weaknesses and complement their strengths. They offer their support to Max together, and even when rebuffed they don’t abandon her. From a swat with a pillow for a bad joke to the mirrored expressions of disapproval they give Max and Tristan, Chloe and Rachel are a great pair and they look damned cute together, to boot.
The back half of the issue is an abrupt shift in mood as Max and Chloe follow Rachel to a party at a trendy nightclub. Rachel and Chloe put their differences on hold and for a time, and we can see why they put up with one another: underneath the arguments, they actually are friends and more.
Artist Claudia Leonardi and colorist Andrea Izzo bring out the comfort they feel in each other’s presence in every scene, and it shines at the party with a gorgeous shot of their fashionably late entrance. Max’s freckles do nothing to hide her blush when she reveals her adorably naïve obliviousness about drugs. All three members of the Rachel Amber Entourage have glammed up for the evening according to their own sense of style—a fashionable bodycon for Rachel, a classic skater for Max, and Chloe… wears a leather jacket and blue jeans, but at least she swapped her muscle tee for a midriff top to fit in with the LA nightlife.
If you’ve played or read Life is Strange before, you won’t be surprised that the fun party scene ends in disaster and tragedy. Max, Chloe, and Rachel are separated when their host collapses due to an overdose. Rachel goes to her friend’s side, letting Leonardi and Izzo show us an up-close glimpse of the consequences of the faked joy of the media influencer life. Max runs outside to find help. Instead, Tristan continues to have the worst timing, and Max finds him cornered by vengeful drug dealers from his past. This is LiS #7’s biggest question about who Max is: what will she do when someone’s life is on the line and she has the power to save them?
Kaitlyn Lyons is a flailing Chicago queer fueled mostly by iced coffee. She won’t shut up about comics or her Pathfinder games and is an unrepentant fangirl of all things Elf-y. She tweets about this and more at @ArrowShootyKate.