Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Dead Hand #4 Review

The Next Generation

Written by: Kyle Higgins
Art by: Stephen Mooney
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: 11 July 2018

This book has been a balls to the wall action deal so far, an American-Russian James Bond-esque action flick set in Twin Peaks! So far, so crazy, but it has certainly been an experience that's been really enjoyable to date. Will the trend continue? Let's see!

This issue sees Kyle Higgins develop the story further through the eyes of Harriet Martin. We have already seen the fact that she witnessed Carter's execution of the visitor that wandered into Mountain View. We know that her mother Renae is heavily integrated within the rather unique structures that operate around the town. This time though we get the story from her perspective and get a bit more of the background to her experiences before she crashes into the town's secrets. Higgins continues to balance the provision of new information and holding back elements of the story perfectly. Intrigue is sustained and the side story of Vil and Ellis keeps things varied and interesting.

The art in this series is as appealing as always. Last issue I mentioned in the review that there were aspects which didn't quite work. Those were related to action scenes involving Ellis being depicted in yellow colored panels. The same thing happens again here and I still don't think it is an effective use of color and it doesn't really compliment the art style. Aside from that I noticed that some of the proportions seemed a little off in some of the panels and I'm also not too sure how comfortable Mooney is in depicting Ellis's features and body shape in comparison to some of the other characters. It makes me wonder if the art is based off reference pictures in some way. Maybe not. Anyway, the standard of art is very high in this issue and Harriet is really depicted well (I like her Pearl Jam bag too), but there are a couple of little parts and panels that seem rushed and it can have the effect of removing you from the immersive experience of the book at times.  
Bits and Pieces

Another good issue from Higgins and co. This is really a lesson on how to weave a good spy action story, and it is gripping at times. The book overall has a very stylish look to it, particularly in terms of the design and layout, as much as the art. Highlights were the double page splash (pictured above) at the start and the classy "title sequence" page.


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