"The Escape/Run Away" (FRINGE #3)

To those who have not read the Fringe comic series but would like to read it, please, don't read any further, as this does contain spoilers. The third comic in the first Fringe comic book series opens with "The Escape" and finishes its second half with "Run Away," and both stories, especially the "stand-alone" story, "Run Away," are really good, and overall, the comic is probably my favorite of the original six. The first part (titled "Excellent Soap") of the second comic ends with a startling cliffhanger, which is that the soap company, for one reason or another, is holding onto heads inside of jars, and the heads, shockingly enough, are still alive. Rachel Matheson catches Walter and Bell and says that she wishes that the two of them hadn't found that room, leading us to believe that she has malicious intentions. However, this comic twists the plot yet again, revealing that she wishes that they didn't find that room so that she could have showed it to them herself. She gives them reason to believe that she can be trusted, but even though Walter is all for trusting her, Bell is reluctant, once again taking precaution before he makes decisions, which I think is smart; Walter is definitely a lot more impulsive than Bell. He's also his typical self in this comic. When a synaptic transference is developed between Walter and Rachel (one that is very similar, if not the same, to the one set up between Olivia and John Scott in the pilot episode), Walter says that he enjoys being restrained by the clamps. Like I said, that is very typical of Walter, as it reminds me of the worm latching onto him in "Snakehead" (2.09) to which his response is that it is "rather pleasant."

The first half of the comic is basically about Rachel proving to Bell that she is trust-worthy, and when she more or less does, she tries to help them escape from the "soap company," since she knows that it has ill intentions. In the end, Bell is proven wrong while Walter is proven right, since Rachel does indeed prove herself. Right before they are teleported, she dies trying to protect them, and ultimately, she does just that. Then, the scene changes to the President of the United States being notified that Walter and Bell have escaped. The President, however, doesn't seem bothered by this at all. One of them has been implanted with something, and the President therefore says to "activate him." This twists the plot once again, because it leaves us wondering if Rachel implanted one of them. If so, then it is most likely Walter that was implanted. Is there some sort of government conspiracy, and if so, does it still exist? Who is the President? We know that the line of presidents in the Fringeverse hasn't been too wildly different, because even though Andrew Jackson was never President on the Other Side, Obama currently is on both sides, so I don't think that presidency has been any different. If the President in the comic is who it really was at that time period, then it's Ford, and I suppose that the man in the comic does kind of look like him.

The second half of the comic is called "Run Away" and is probably my favorite story out of the comic book series. It follows a young boy, whose name we never learn, who was born with a strange and destructive ability; anyone that comes into contact with him dies a very gruesome death. The people who show up at the hospital to take him look very much like Observers, but I'm not sure if they are or not. It is very possible, because in "Brown Betty" (2.19), the possibility that the Observers work for Nina is presented, and obviously, this story ends with the revelation that the boy was held at Massive Dynamic. In fact, when we meet his tutor and he describes her as having had red hair, I once again wondered whether or not she were Nina Sharp, but considering the fact that the comic shows us that she was brutally murdered, that is impossible. I love how this boy is very witty and sarcastic in the note that he leaves for them; for example, he says, "At least you let me have some toys. I was so lucky. Most kids don't get a big cool observation window in their playroom." I'm not sure why the boy points out all of their "mistakes," actions that they took that they didn't realize were actually helping him escape, because now, if there's ever another child like him, it won't be as easy for that child to escape, something that he obviously didn't think about.

The boy lists four mistakes that they made. The first is that they gave him a tutor, who was very kind to him. The second is that they allowed him to watch TV, which showed him just how big the world is. The third is that they gave him a cat, because his feelings for the cat made him want to live. The fourth and final mistake is that they kept him for too long, which allowed him to learn who was watching him and when and how to get out of the building. This is when we learn that it was Massive Dynamic that was holding him. The story asks a big question, though, which is what is up with the boy, exactly, and what made him the way that he is. He says that cats are immune to snake bites and seems to use that as reasoning as to why he didn't kill the cat, so what does his ability have to do with snake bites? Is he somehow venomous? Did someone mix his DNA with that of a poisonous snake, making his skin toxic? It kind of reminds me of "The Cure" (1.06), in which the young women are made radioactive like microwaves and therefore make people explode, a real bloodbath. I really like this comic, and it is probably my favorite out of the series. Overall, I have to give it nine toxic killer babies.

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