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‘Ether: The Disappearance of Violet Bell #4’ - Advance Comic Book Review

Matt Kindt must sit in his office and wonder, “What’s the last thing that readers would expect to happen at the end of this issue? I’ll do that.” And, he does. And, it is. It never feels inorganic; it never feels like a cheat.

Boone Diaz has a complicated past with the titular Violet Bell. She is an elf that lives in the Ether, and he is a scientific adventurer detective - somewhere between Indiana Jones, Sherlock Holmes, and MacGyver - and there to solve all of the fantastical mysteries with hard science. If I remember correctly, because of Diaz’s hubris in his ability to solve any situation, Bell may be one of the only elves left. It was a devastating moment that fractured their relationship. Now, with Bell missing, Diaz is driven to find her at all costs.

Diaz and his fantastical gorilla-like friend, Glum, have been on the trail of the ultimate assassin. In his pop surrealist way, artist David Rubín continues to take us through worlds we’ve never seen, the next one more vibrant and treacherous than the last. Every page is a bountiful treasure chest of imagery.

This story arc has made great use of the fact that the Ether and the real world are connected by the stories we keep alive; it’s a symbiotic relationship. The focus Kindt has spent exploring this dynamic pays off in spades in this issue with some revelations and information. Not only that, but a character reappears to wonderful and hilarious effect.

Kindt is one of the best creators in the comic book industry. Artists scramble to work with him, and we see some of their best work in his books. Once more, I am enthusiastic to continue to recommend Ether as something you should be reading - no ifs, ands, or butts.


Creative team: Matt Kindt (writer), David Rubín (artist, letters), Daniel Chabon (editor), Chuck Howitt (assistant editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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