This article contains spoilers for season one of Life is Strange.
Life is Strange, released in 2015, follows the time-turning teenage angst of Max Caulfield, and puts the player in control of her decisions.
Dontnod Entertainment builds up to the ultimate decision in Episode 5, Polarized, where the player chooses between saving Arcadia Bay or saving Max’s best friend Chloe. Titan Comics follows the outcome of the decision to save Chloe, and presents a version of what happened next in a “multiverse of infinite possibilities”.
Firstly, the art style is beautiful. Artist Claudia Leonardi perfectly captures the tone of the original series. The opening page, where Max reflects on what happened in Arcadia Bay, is added to by a series of blue butterflies around the images. It’s visually stunning, and is a great way to emphasise that this is for Life is Strange fans, with a callback to a running theme in the series.
Chloe’s portrayal is very similar to the series, too, with her vibrant blue hair and fashion style jumping off the page. Writer Emma Vieceli mirrors this in her representation of Chloe. She’s still as fiery as ever, and her carefree yet passionate personality is displayed well. At times Chloe and Max come off as a bit too emotional together – something that arguably the Farewell episode suffered from – but overall their relationship is strong and true to the original.
Max’s character, however, does look slightly more mature than the original Life is Strange. She looks a year older, but still keeps the teenage innocence that made Max so endearing. She’s also written in a very reflective manner, perfectly relating to her original portrayal. Max’s friends from Seattle, on the other hand, feel too one-dimensional to really shine, so hopefully there’s more to come from them.
The key plot point in issue one is that it’s a year since the events in Arcadia Bay, and there’s a ceremony to remember all those who died. This stirs up some emotional feelings for Max and Chloe, and is when Max starts to unintentionally have visions again. On two occasions she’s talking to Chloe, and then loses her, while everyone else goes about their normal lives. It turns out that no-one knows who Chloe is, and Max becomes very startled at this. Reality then returns and Max is in shock when describing this to Chloe.
The big tease for issue two is that Max and Chloe decide to return to Arcadia Bay. Chloe realises that Max’s visions started happening again when the news covered the anniversary of the disaster at Arcadia Bay. In a fun take on the original series, they decide this when dressed as pirates – Max’s friends are in a band and playing at a pirate party. It’s another nod to a small part of what makes Life is Strange so beautiful.
Issue one from Titan Comics feels like a true tribute to Life is Strange. Like the opening episode of Life is Strange it includes beautiful and poignant moments, but can feel a little slow at times. But the tease at the end of issue one reveals that there’s so much still to come from the series. And with the amount of Life is Strange nostalgia included, it’s a must-read for any fan.