Author and independent comic book creator Russell Nohelty is returning to the scene of the crime with Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter #5. A continuation of the series that started it all for Nohelty, Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter #5 also sees the return of original artist Renzo Podesta. Ichabod may be dead and buried, but, like many comic creators before them, Nohelty and Podesta refuse to let their hero rest in peace.
Issue #5 opens at the titular character’s funeral. Having made a heroic sacrifice for those he called friends, it would appear that this is the end of the story, but, in the same spirit as the original Ichabod Jones, Nohelty’s script provides multiple new avenues for the story to continue down while leaving it to the reader to decide which reality is truly “real.”
While I don’t know that it was necessary for Ichabod Jones to continue on past its perceived conclusion, Nohelty and Podesta do an excellent job of making this next chapter feel like an organic extension of the original tale. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed stories that continue beyond a lead character’s death, depicting the fallout of that loss and what comes next, and while Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter #5 doesn’t cover that exact territory, there’s an interestingly fresh and abnormal tone present that prompts one to re-engage with a story they may have considered finished previously.
While it’s not necessary to enjoy or understand the story of Ichabod Jones, Nohelty has been very open about his struggles with depression and anxiety and how they have inspired this tale of a broken man coming to terms with who he is and searching for his place in the world. The original Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter was written (admittedly by Nohelty) when the author was in an incredibly dark place himself. While Nohelty may still have his demons, he’s mentioned via his Facebook page that he’s been in a much better place when approaching this volume, and that, in some ways, this new addition to Ichabod Jones is a way for him to reach out to his former self with a message of hope. Again, I don’t think this information in necessary to read Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter, but I certainly think it adds additional layers to the story.
Podesta’s artwork is just as fantastic as usual. I’m always up for a new artist’s take on material, but Podesta’s style is so recognizable and appropriate for the Nohelty’s story that it’s hard to imagine any other artist fitting as perfectly. Podesta’s coloring in Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter #5 is especially worthy of mention, as it conveys a dream-like sense of wandering into vastly different environments connected in illogical ways.
FINAL VERDICT: Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter #5 is a triumphant return to form from the original creative team. Those who enjoyed the previous Ichabod Jones tale from Wannabe Press will not want to miss this continuation!
Creative Team: Russell Nohelty (writer/creator), Renzo Podesta (art/letters/cover art)
Publisher: Wannabe Press
Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter #5 is not currently available for purchase, but you can get a copy by supporting the Kickstarter campaign running until October 3rd, 2019.
Also, be sure to check out my original review of Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter from back in 2012: