Tensions are still running high all around. Sonata and her companions are facing down a horde of monsters and her rescue party is gearing up to head right into the domain of the gods. Ontop of all that, there’s treachery afoot. Your Major Spoilers review awaits.
Writers: David Hine & Brian Haberlin
Artist: David Haberlin
Colorist:Geirrod Van Dyke
Letterer: Francis Takenaga
Editor: Melanie Hackett
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 11th, 2019
Previously in Sonata: Our titular character, accompanied by her friend Treen and rival Pau, have found themselves transported far away from their homes in an unfamiliar part of the world. The trio has been taken to an ancient structure by the mentally unstable survivalist Korbys. Unfortunately a horde of monsters has also taken residence there. Back home, the tensions between The Ran and The Tayans continues to escalate. But a temporary truce is forming as leaders from both sides wish to find their children before continuing the fight.
LOVE AND RAT MONSTERS
Sonata #4 kicks off mid fight with a horde of monsters known as grimkats. Even the peaceful Treen joins in on the fray. Quickly the team sends all the grimkats, except one, fleeing for their lives. Sonata discovers a wounded grimkat and begins to nurse it back to health, to the dismay of Pau. During her care for the creature, Sonata is accidentally pricked by the grimkat’s quill. Finally finding a quiet moment since they accidentally fell through the portal, Sonata, Pau, and Treen relax under the night sky. Sonata and Pau find some common ground in their personal tragedies and discover that they have a lot in common. Pau, misreads the situation and goes in for a kiss but is denied harshly. Then Sonata changes her mind and finishes what Pau started. The next day, Korbys shows the rest what is hidden deeper in the structure they’re in, which turns out to be an ancient civilization’s armory. Pau is immediately smitten with the powerful weaponry, which upsets Sonata. But, she’s unable to express her anger before passing out, seemingly from poison left behind by the grimkat’s quill. Back home, The Ran and The Tayans are already travelling down The Valley of the Sleeping Giants. Soon, they are surrounded by the massive creatures but continue on undeterred. That’s when their escorts who had promised to protect them, spring their trap and awaken the sleeping beasts who immediately begin to attack the intruders.
The first few issues of this series were a bit clunky. They just couldn’t find a good balance between establishing an interesting world and telling a story. This issue on the other hand doesn’t suffer from the same imbalance. While there is still some world building going on, it comes off more natural than it has before. That’s not to say there isn’t some awkwardness here, particularly between Sonata and Pau. Their relationship and sudden romantic interest in each other just doesn’t feel right. There’s been hints from the first issue of there being something between these two, but this just comes out of nowhere and feels forced. The unfortunate thing is that the buildup and then actual kiss between Sonata and Pau does take up a good amount of the story in this issue, so this issue as a whole suffers. Now, there is some stuff in this issue that is really nice. Treen continues to be a great character who is given some great lines and moments here. Also, the side plot of the parents of Sonata and Pau setting out to find their children is quickly becoming a more interesting plot than that of the main characters.
JUST PLAIN GOOD LOOKING
Sonata is a very pretty book. Everything here works well together and deserves praise. For me though, the highlight is the backgrounds. The hand painted look makes individual panels look like covers from old pulp sci-fi/fantasy books. In this issue in particular, the last third was great to look at. The juxtaposition of the giants themselves and the airships flying through was a really fun series of panels.
BOTTOM LINE: COME FOR THE B PLOT
This issue is indicative of the whole series so far: Hit and miss. The second half of this book is good. The way The Ran, The Tayans, and The Primitives have been interacting with each other is ripe with intrigue and good misdirection, throw the sleeping giants into the mix and that could be a series on it’s own I feel. It’s the first part of this issue that just isn’t clicking. Save for Treen, none of the characters in the main plot are all that interesting and what they’re doing isn’t all that interesting. 3 out of 5 stars.
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Sonata #4 is one part slow slog with mostly uninteresting characters and one part exciting adventure tale with old gods and airships. If it wasn’t for that second part, this would probably be a breaking point with this series. But, the back half of this issue is enough to warrant at least one more visit to this series.