Bone Parish #4 Review

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In the aftermath of Wade’s death, his mother, Grace, faces up to the challenge cartel head Rafael Garcia presents to her family.  To defend the family, she tasks her daughter with concocting a potent version of the Ash.  Let’s go down into the basement and see what horrors she has mixed for us in Bone Parish #4.

Bone Parish #4 ReviewBONE PARISH #4

Writer:  Cullen Bunn
Artist: Jonas Scharf
Colorist: Alex Guiamaraes
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Editor: Eric Harburn
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: October 31st, 2018
Price: $3.99

Previously in Bone Parish: Drug wars with a difference as the Winters family bring their necromantic magics into the drug market with the Ash, a potent mixture that allows users to relive the life of a dead person.  Now, with her husband and her son dead, Grace must come up with a plan to protect her family from the depredations of a rival drug cartel eager to muscle in on her territory.  But revenge this terrible come without a cost.

NOSE CANDY OF THE DEAD

Grace Winters sees dead people; namely, her deceased husband, who at the beginning of the issue gives her some much-needed advice about what she needs to do to take revenge in the aftermath of Wade’s murder.  Meanwhile, her daughter receives Wade’s corpse.  In a family that deals in necromancy, and can produce the Ash, a powder that allows users to relive the lives of the deceased, Wade’s body will soon be put to a very useful purpose.

Elsewhere, cartel head Rafael Garcia celebrates his rise to power at the expense of the Winters, angling to take over their product and bring it to the streets of New Orleans.  In a basement, two corrupt police officers find the hard way that when the Winters go to war, you’d best not get in their way.

ASHES TO ASHES

HP Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward introduces the idea that the very essence of a person can be reduced to their components, the ‘essential Saltes’ as Lovecraft so piquantly describes it.  Using the correct formula, the long dead can be returned to unholy life.

Cullen Bunn takes the idea even further with his creation of the Ash.  The Winters family, possessed of necromantic knowledge, can transform corpses into a drug known as the Ash, which they can then use to relive the lives of the dead.  Of course, in a place like New Orleans, where the decadent seek out new entertainments, the Ash is a commodity whose time has come.

Bunn has created a supernatural crime drama, as members of the family intersect with the criminal underworld, their knowledge and powers entangling them with a drug cartel eager to get its hands on the Ash.  In this issue, the criminal and the supernatural smash together, creating a heady mix that is quite unlike anything on the market.

There’s a sense that the decks are being cleared here.  In Bunn’s hands, Grace Winters loses the hesitation that has hobbled her.  The results won’t be pretty, but it allows Bunn to advance the plot forward while doubling down on the terrible price of her actions.  Bunn doesn’t flinch in depicting the results of her decision, with dark deeds being performed by her men, exacting revenge on two police officers in a bloody and memorable fashion.

Jonas Scharf’s straight ahead artwork in this issue doesn’t shy away from the consequences of Grace’s actions, for the living and the dead.  The high point of the issue occurs when Grace’s men attack one of her enemies, showering him with a potent version of the Ash.  Instead of reliving just one life, the victim relives the lives of dozens, if not hundreds, of people.  The apocalyptic visions, displayed over two pages, are horrific, invoking some of the baroque visions of Hieronymus Bosch in their intensity.

BOTTOM LINE – NEVER CROSS A WINTERS

Bone Parish #4 feels very much like dedicated readers are nearing the end of the story.  Bunn brings us to the point where threads start to be tied off, and the dark powers of her family begin to shine forth.  Without the supernatural element, this would’ve been a perfectly fine crime drama involving drugs, cartels, corrupt cops and revenge.  Adding the Ash gives the story a twist that adds a far darker element to the story, and the chance for some eye-catching visuals.  We aren’t quite at the end of this memorable series, but the pieces are being put in place for a gruesome finish.

Bone Parish #4

73%
73%
Never Cross a Winters

Bone Parish #4 feels very much like dedicated readers are nearing the end of the story. Bunn brings us to the point where threads start to be tied off, and the dark powers of her family begin to shine forth. Without the supernatural element, this would’ve been a perfectly fine crime drama involving drugs, cartels, corrupt cops and revenge. Adding the Ash gives the story a twist that adds a far darker element to the story, and the chance for some eye-catching visuals. We aren’t quite at the end of this memorable series, but the pieces are being put in place for a gruesome finish.

  • Writing
    7
  • Art
    8
  • Coloring
    7
  • User Ratings (0 Votes)
    0
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About Author

Romantic. Raconteur. Kangaroo rustler. Sadly, Rob is none of these. Rob has been a follower of genre since at least the mid-1970s. Book collector, Doctor Who fan, semi-retired podcaster, comic book shop counter jockey, writer (once!) in Doctor Who Magazine and with pretensions to writing fantasy and horror, Rob is the sort of fellow you can happily embrace while wondering why you're doing it. More of his maudlin thoughts can be found at his ill-tended blog https://robertmammone.wordpress.com/

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