Life is Strange #8 finishes off the second arc in the fantastic Life is Strange ongoing series from Emma Vieceli and Claudia Leonardi. The arc, “Waves,” sees Max trapped in an alternate universe where both Chloe and Rachel are alive. Additionally, it has introduced a person with a different power than Max. The main theme of this arc has been Max gaining confidence in herself in this universe by paralleling her with Tristan. This all comes to a head and ends satisfactorily while also setting things up for the future.
Turning A Negative Into A Positive
In the previous issue, Tristan and Max were parallel with how they got their powers. Now, they are paralleled in the way they act with their powers. The main through-line of Life is Strange #8 is honesty and integrity. Tristan is confronted with the people that killed his friend and uses his powers to disappear, just like last time. But he realizes that running from his problems is not going to solve anything. He tells Rachel and Chloe and then they go to rescue Max.
This act of honesty, showing that he trusts them, gives Max the push she desperately needs. Every action may have consequences, but those consequences are worth facing together rather than alone. She turns her negative into a positive, she is stuck in an alternate universe, but there is no reason she can’t connect with those that are here.
Similarly, Rachel is taking steps to overcome her own problems. When Callie overdoses and is put into an ambulance, many people in the crowd pull out their phones. They are taking pictures and documenting that they were there. The harm that such a callous action will have on someone that nearly died from an overdose is horrible to think about. While Rachel didn’t join in, she thought about it. During the rescue of Max, Rachel contributes with her “power.” She knows social media, so this time she pulls out her phone to document the suffering of another, but for good reason. She is spreading the word to help. Same action, different consequences.
Plans For The Future
While Life is Strange #8 focuses on the capture of Max by the killers of Tristan’s friend, we still get some set up for the future of this series. First and foremost, it appears that Tristan may in some way be connected to helping Max. He offers his help willingly, meaning that Max will not be the only one with powers in this group. But she also has someone to relate to in terms of her powers.
She is honest with Rachel and Chloe at the end of Life is Strange #8, but whether these versions of the characters will react similarly to their old counterparts is another question. The song at the end of the issue, which was also sung all the way back in Life is Strange #1, speaks of being stuck in an odd predicament. Max is with Chloe, but she isn’t, all at the same time.
Another thing that could be a set-up or I could be reading too much into things, comes during Max’s capture. The captors call the drug seller, asking what they should do with Max. We never get the seller’s part of the conversation; however, they refer to the seller as “him.”
There is also a point in which it is mentioned that the seller is coming to deal with the situation personally and to get some “footage.” Now, being the Life is Strange fan that I am, my mind jumped to one particular conclusion. If this alternate universe has Rachel alive, wouldn’t it stand to reason that Mark Jefferson is still alive? What if he’s the drug dealer?
This would be a fascinating twist, as Max has only encountered good results from her actions in this alternate dimension. It’s time for Max to meet the ghost of her past.
Life Is Strange #8 Ends Something At The Same Time It Starts Something Else
Life is Strange #8 is a good finale to the “Waves” arc. While this arc wasn’t as strong as the first one, it did provide some interesting character work for Max and Rachel. It further introduces a welcome addition to the Life is Strange cast in the form of Tristan. I look forward to seeing more adventures from these four in the near future.