Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #4 Review



Written by: Robert Venditti
Art by: Riley Rossmo
Colors by: Ivan Plascencia
Letters by: Tom Napolitano
Cover art by: Riley Rossmo
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: January 9, 2024

Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #4 brings Wesley Dodds out of his exposure to his famous sleep gas with an epiphany about who is behind the theft of his journal.
Is Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #4 Good?

Robert Vendittii peels back the layers behind the theft of Wesley Dodds's journal with startling visions, deadly fights, and a grand conspiracy. With two issues left in the mini-series, Venditti is laying out a pristine example of pulp detective stories with a sci-fi twist.

When last we left Wesley Dodds, he returned to the charred remains of his home to look for clues about Igor Kluge's death and the mastermind behind the theft of his poison gas research. Wesley crossed paths with his new nemesis, The Fog, and the two fought hand-to-hand and gas-gun-to-gas-gun. The issue with the Fog escaping after a devastating injury and Wesley left in a gas-filled stupor.

Now, Wesley gets his first experience with what criminals feel when exposed to the Sandman's gas. When he wakes up days later under Dian's care, Wesley begins to put the pieces together about who would want his research and why. Wesley moves to confront Wheeler Vanderlyle in the conspiracy but finds the Fog beat him to the punch.

I'm leaving out key bits of information because that would ruin the surprise, but just know that Venditti is crafting a near-flawless homage to serial adventures of the 1930s and 40s.

What's great about Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #4? Venditti delivers a strong entry in the mini-series with mystical visions, gritty action, surprises, and an expansion of the Sandman's challenge. Hats off to Venditti for a well-done series that bests any other detective-centric title DC has on the shelves.

What's not so great about Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #4? Sandman's rematch against the Fog ends slightly flat because his face reveal isn't shocking, and there's no follow-up to the end of the fight.

How's the art? For all the heat Riley Rossmo gets for his wonky art style, deservedly so, this title may be one of the few niches where it works. You still have to contend with the typical distractions of misshapen faces and twinkle toes, but Rossmo's action choreography has improved significantly, and Ivan Plascencia's coloring goes a long way toward enhancing Rossmo's inks.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #4 is another excellent, pulp serial-inspired detective story in Robert Venditti's mini-series. Riley Rossmo's art oddities are still in effect, albeit toned down, but Rossmo's action choreography is improving. Overall, this series is turning out to be a close second in the race to be the best of DC's Golden Age imprint.


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