Boone Dias undoes one of his impetuous mistakes and races off to find the assassin. How does he fare in their matchup this time? Find out in Ether: The Disappearance of Violet Bell #3 from Dark Horse Comics.

Ether The Disappearance of Violet Bell #3 ReviewETHER: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF VIOLET BELL #3

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: David Rubin
Letterer: David Rubin
Editor: Daniel Chabon
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 27, 2019

Previously in Ether: The Disappearance of Violet Bell: While investigating the place from whence Violet Bell was kidnapped, Boone Dias is attacked by the assassin, also called a Battle Sarcophagus. Boone scares it off, then tracks it. His friend Glum carefully negotiates passage for them on a pirate ship. After some crazy encounters, resulting in Boone ticking off nearly everyone on the ship, they reach the Isle of the Seven Lucky Gods, where the assassin is. The pirates leave him there, and Glum parts ways with him. Boone offers to help the Gods in turn for their help. He realizes they’re tired of being immortal – and helpfully shows how he can kill one of them.

BOONE DIAS KEEPS THINGS INTERESTING

Ether: The Disappearance of Violet Bell #3 opens with Boone chained to a rock while bird spirits flock down in preparation for devouring him, a very mythological sort of justice. He talks to them; he tries to reason with them – all to no avail. But Glum shows up. (“I leave you for one day…”) Boone apologizes and admits he has lock picks in his boot. His rescue angers the remaining Seven Lucky Gods, but Boone has a chance to talk and says he can restore Baby Grande. Not only that, but he does so. In return, the Gods take him to the Living Forest and tell him the assassin is beyond that, at the center of the Quarry of Bewilderment.

They make their way through an odd forest where Glum becomes increasingly on edge, feeling they’re being followed. Then a giant, clawed, bird-like foot lands practically on top of them and a huge head comes down to eyeball them. Glum is ready to attack it, but of course Boone knows better, and has a dead rat in his bag to feed it as a snack. These guys apparently eat anything and everything, and are very social, so Boone suggests moving on before it comes back with friends. This captures him so well. He is the obnoxious friend who knows everything but doesn’t care too hard about the consequences of his actions.

Next they go through a labyrinth to the center, find a black, shiny egg, and tap it. It opens up into the Battle Sarcophagus and a huge fight ensues, until some unexpected help arrives.

LIFE IS IN THE DETAILS

I like the opening of Ether: The Disappearance of Violet Bell #3. It starts with a tight shot of Boone’s face, upside down. As he makes his excuses for killing Baby Grande, the panels back out further until we can tell he’s chained to a rock at the top of a mountain. And I love the birds that come down to attack him. They look greenish and ghostly, or spirit-like, but they peer at Boone with expressions that appear mildly puzzled and a lot like that of your basic pigeon. (Their surprise when Glum arrives on the scene is delightful.)

The forest is a great set up for the surprise of the creature. The colors change to pinks, purples, and oranges, but this is Ether, so that isn’t any stranger than usual. The tree trunks are sort of like palm trees, with ridges, but with no side branches. The foliage is up at the top. When the giant creature almost steps on them, its legs are a match for the tree trunks and its feathers look like the tops of the trees. It’s facial expressions – and noises – are priceless. This world continues to be wild in its art with a stream of consciousness flow like that of dreams, and it’s a beautiful fit for this world.

BOTTOM LINE: ANOTHER GREAT CHAPTER IF THIS IS YOUR THING

Kindt’s and Rubin’s storytelling in Ether: The Disappearance of Violet Bell #3 may not be a good fit for everyone. Their take on fantasy defies categorization. But it is good, thoughtful storytelling with a wicked sense of humor and a pinch of social commentary added for spice.


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Ether: The Disappearance of Violet Bell #3

73%
73%
A great chapter

Boone Dias, killing gods and wreaking havoc wherever he goes in Ether.

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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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