Indefatigably, Boone Dias and his team figure out how to defeat the second copper golem and move on to the next where they find themselves trapped in their own fantasies.

Ether: The Copper Golems #4ETHER: THE COPPER GOLEMS #4

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: David Rubin
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 15, 2018

Previously in Ether: The Copper Golems: Grandor and Boone leap into the fray to dispatch a giant spider golem. Boone discovers it is powered by tubes full of written text, like portions of stories. Then they go off to the land of Kemet, which correlates with Egypt, to find the next golem. After entering a pyramid, Boone finds himself in the dark, alone…except for a horde of mummies.

ANOTHER GOLEM, ANOTHER PUZZLE

Boone starts out Ether: The Copper Golems #4 fighting mummies while applying logic to the problem of how to locate his friends. He climbs upwards, away from the mummies, observing that the architecture seems somehow transformative. He keeps on climbing until he can hear their voices and see possible daylight. He pokes his head out, only to find himself in the (ahem!) groinal region of an enormous walking copper golem.

He quickly makes his way to Glum and Violet where they are watching Grandor who is sitting in the heart of the golem working on his magic to try to disrupt it. Boone, always the man of action, swings up to the pipes connecting the heart and starts dropping little slime creatures on them, irritating Grandor in the process. Boone has a knack for being irritating to those around him.  Boone found these creatures on a previous adventure, and knows a secret about them – they are sensitive to high pitched noises, which make them explode.

Our heroes regroup among the broken golem bits. There is one more golem to go.  Everyone is eager to get to this last golem, but Boone still wonders who is behind this, and how they can prove it. More privately, he also realizes he is starving, and he doesn’t know how much longer he can hold out. But their next stop is the Enchanted Primeval Forest. Or perhaps the former Enchanted Primeval Forest. It is now bleak and dead-looking. And there they meet the master storyteller.

The master storyteller will not let them pass without telling his tale, and he spins three, presented as two-page comic book intros to other stories, one for Boone, one for Violet Bell, and one for Glum. When we switch back to the Ether, Grandor confronts the storyteller, who admits he’s ensorcelled the other three, letting them live out their deepest longings. But Grandor, who lives out his deepest longings every day, is unaffected.

Again, we end with the next part of the story from the past, when Boone and Violet met. They come to terms with their relationship and confront the witch about her treatment of the faerie folk. Boone, ever logical, wants to communicate. The insectoid witch hates faeries and would rather just blow them up.  Blowing things up seems to be a theme here this month.

MORE COLOR AND FLAVOR

Ether: The Copper Golems #4 continues with its wildly colorful and fluid artwork. The panels convey movement, which is a feat considering how movement in the Ether does not seem to be terribly linear. Boone poking his torso out of the golem is amusing. The facial expressions are intense. The use of color is, as always, magnificent, particularly for the explosion. Looking at this book is sheer pleasure.

But the really fun thing this time around is different from what we’ve seen before. When the storyteller breaks into his stories, the artwork changes accordingly. We see pages in totally different styles and lettering. Boone’s story is that of him as a Victorian-era science adventurer, with coloring reminiscent of Zipatone. Violet’s story has that as well, but her story is more that of a fantasy adventurer. In a really cool contrast, Glum’s story is that of an all-ages book, full of relentless, smiling fun.

BOTTOM LINE: TWISTS AND TURNS

Ether: The Copper Golems #4 continues to fascinate. The story is getting more tense, and now I’m starting to wonder if Boone can hold out long enough to complete it. I really appreciate how he tries to come up with logical explanations for the magic in the Ether, and that when Grandor’s magic doesn’t seem to be working, Boone’s ideas do. Every issue has something a little different and unexpected in it; it really is a pleasure to read.

[taq_review]


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By day, she’s a mild-mannered bureaucrat and Ms. Know-It-All. By night, she’s a dance teacher and RPG player (although admittedly not on the same nights). On the weekends, she may be found judging Magic, playing Guild Wars 2 (badly), or following other creative pursuits. Holy Lack of Copious Free Time, Batman! While she’s always wished she had teleportation as her superpower, she suspects that super-speed would be much more practical because then she’d have time to finish up those steampunk costumes she’s also working on.

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