The air is frigid. Snow falls to the ground, covering every inch moving forward. The fallen medieval soldier is within sight of sanctuary, a large house toward the mountain top. Though, his outstretched arm does not reach for warm comfort; instead, he reaches for some kind of snow queen cascaded in blue and white light. Will she rescue the warrior? Will her ability to control winter protect him from the brutal elements waiting within?
Artist Alan Quah shrouds the cover page of Dark Souls: Winter’s Spite #4 with this arctic mystery, increasing the urge to wear many layers to protect against the cold. Quah showcases his ability to draw fine details, with fur draped over the warrior’s shoulders and body armor crafted with intricate lines. As your view goes from bottom to top, the fighter’s reach is well-defined amongst the snowy conditions surrounding the remaining part of the page. It makes the reader wonder what more must this person, Andred of Ithvale, endure to survive or obtain what he’s searching for.
Writer George Mann concludes the Titan Comics mini-series, “based on the hit video game series by Bandai-Namco,” with the fourth and final installment where Andred seeks his stolen blade. Mann captures his obsession, presenting a backstory that taps into the sword’s importance and offers different avenues to collect what is lost and dearest to him. The power of this weapon lingers on Andred’s mind, despite those attempting to kill him, until Mistress Parnethia’s voice leads his path. Her calling pulls him along, moving him closer to an unknown outcome, possibly allowing his passionate conviction in finding the sword to falter. What does she want with him? Will he be able to regain what’s been taken?
The final chapter of Winter’s Spite showcases mystical elements and creatures aimed at blocking the warrior’s path as he nears the end of his quest. Sean Lee and Norah Khor of Komikaki Studio draw this comic book with vivid bluish-greens, matched with purple and brown hues, helping to intensify the might of the wintry realm, while bursts of golden light, green magical spells, and vibrant red blood highlight dramatic scenes. The flashback in this story shows blue skies, green leaves, and a warm, hardy fireplace indicating a time prior to the spite, showing a brief glimpse into what’s been lost and what might be found should the cold cycle be vanquished. The emphasis within this story describes the savagery behind power, of those holding or defending it, and what unique path those brave enough to reclaim glory will take.
Dark Souls: Winter’s Spite #4 will be available on Wednesday, March 8, in print and digital form.