Life is Strange #10 is the halfway mark of the newest arc, “Strings”, of this fantastic ongoing by Emma Vieceli and Claudia Leonardi. And boy is that title really relevant to this issue! What I loved about the last issue is the focus on Rachel and Max coming clean to her friends. Now, we see Rachel adapting to her new reality, though not in the way Max is doing the same and learning more about what is going on with the Transect. Strap in for this is about to be a wild ride!
Rachel & Chloe Shippers Rejoice
I know that many people ship Max and Chloe together. I don’t blame them, I like that pairing myself. But I always was fascinated by Chloe and Rachel’s connection to each other after playing the first Life is Strange. The way Chloe talked about her made her seem like this utterly perfect friend who slowly evolved to be something more. It was a sweet but idealized romance, and how could Chloe not idealize it? She was a teenager with a massive crush.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm came out and really delved into the Rachel and Chloe dynamic. Rachel wasn’t perfect, she had flaws, lots of flaws, but in the end, she and Chloe did care about each other deeply. It was the kind of romance I love to see in fiction. It was real, honest, and emotional. So, Life is Strange #10 gives me some fantastic scenes that demonstrate why this relationship works so well. Sure, this isn’t the Chloe or Rachel that we know from the games, something Max points out to a self-questioning Rachel in Life is Strange #10. But it’s a Chloe and Rachel built from the metaphorical ashes of the old ones, they made a choice the others couldn’t and succeeded where the others couldn’t.
While this may seem like gushing about a pairing I happen to ship, Emma Vieceli’s writing chops really shine to use it to examine the character’s involved. Rachel is having difficulty processing the fact that her other reality self died, so she is latching on to the one thing they both shared, Chloe. Meanwhile, Chloe is about to lose her childhood friend, again, and so is latching herself to the one and only stable thing in her life anymore.
Drama Through Great Character Moments
During a chat between Tristan and Max, we get some interesting insights into why this was the only reality that Max was drawn to. She showed up the day Tristan’s ability showed itself for the first time. Perhaps her being pushed towards this world in the Transect wasn’t a coincidence. Maybe Tristan is the one that caused her to come to this world, acting as a tether to this reality. Or to put it another way, he is the string that wound itself around her and this world, connecting them. While this is just conjecture, Tristan now has more to feel guilty about, and lord knows he doesn’t need more.
What I like about Life is Strange #10, in particular, is that besides the ending, there is no major plot event happening. This issue is just a series of well written, excellently drawn, and beautifully paced conversations. The interactions between the characters bring out the true drama of the situation and the hard dilemma Max is in. Like that bittersweet and perhaps eerie conversation Chloe has just after making the logo for The Highseas band.
What if there are distant memories, echoes, of knowing people from other realities? And what are the implications of that on Chloe’s major relationship with both Rachel and Max? A chilling but fascinating thought that I hope is explored in the future.
Life Is Strange #10 Is One Of The Best Issues Of The Series
Once again, Emma Vieceli and Claudia Leonardi knock it out of the park. This is a powerful issue that every Life is Strange fan should pick up. Even if you haven’t been reading this series, Life is Strange #10 is something you do not want to miss.