I do not like Tristan. (If you can see the cover, he’s the dude on the far right, next to Max.)

He’s a gothy blasé teen that immediately bonds with Max & Chloe, but feels like a fan insert, which echoes my prior gripes that the first volume of this comic book series has a whiff of fan-service. LIFE IS STRANGE’s second half features him being glad-handed by Chloe & Max and it feels abnormal; like a burr, an oddity that shouldn’t exist, and perhaps he shouldn’t, but he does.

That’s is a strange thing to say about a series that features a protagonist who shouldn’t exist where they are, but Tristan? He doesn’t fit. The work already has the holy trinity: Chloe, Max, and Rachel. (Even if I grouse about Max and Rachel meeting. Chloe can’t have two besties at the same time. She isn’t wired for that.) It feels unnecessary, and very strange (no pun intended) that they would be so quick to befriend him.

Also: I’ll note that my Max would never get a tattoo. I can’t imagine any universe in which she would. (Although I’d be lying if I said I never thought about getting a blue butterfly tattoo, because I certainly have and I’m dumb like that and love these games that much.)

I realize I’m back-tracking a bit, based on the Vol. 1 writeup but it zigged where it could have zagged.

I rationally understand that these comics are meant to portray others’ interpretation of the work, and it’s a well-meaning work, for sure! However, it doesn’t resonate for me in the same way the games have. While the intricacies of the choices are intriguing, it feels less cohesive, which is a shame because there’s a lot of great groundwork laid here. It’s still worth reading and it accomplishes what it wants to accomplish but, depending on the choices you made in the original games, it may leave you feeling slightly sour.

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