The Ash is back on the streets in a deadly Game of Thrones of horror necromancy. Bone Parish #4: The Fade starts off at the top of the roller coaster that issue #3 left us on. From there, it’s a straight shot down with lots of wild turns for the reader to brave.
SPOILERS FOR ISSUES 1-3 BELOW
In the first three issues, the reader is introduced to a new drug: The Ash. Created by the Winters family, The Ash is made from the ashes of the deceased and produces strong hallucinations to the point that people die from them. But, others are lining up to take control of the Winters’ legacy. At the end of issue 3, the reader witnessed the brutal murder of Wade Winters, son of the first lady of the Ash, Grace.
In the wake of her son’s death, Grace has to face facts: Her crime family’s legacy is slipping away. With the help of Ash-induced visions of her dead husband, Grace decides to make a move that no one can ignore. Yet, her husband may be more than a hallucination; he may be haunting her, or she might be losing her mind to her own drug.
Bone Parish #4: The Fade is the boldest issue to date, creating a brilliant story arc that left me breathless. I had to read the comic three times to take it all in; the first two times, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The characters are all still up in the air as far as which one to root for, none of them having clean hands, and that makes for a really fun read. Any of them could die at any time, and some who we thought were big players may not be so big after all. If not enough happens in this issue, the possible long-term side effects of the Ash might end up being worse than the sudden deaths we’ve seen till now. Writer Cullen Bunn is at his best with this issue which makes me wonder what he could possibly have in store for the reader next.
Not enough can be said about the art. Jonas Scharf has always been solid in this series, but the art for this comic blew me away. The first panel in particular sets the tone for the events to come. I cannot get the image out of my mind – so gritty, greasy, and dirty. I can smell the smoke coming from the page. In another scene, Grace’s emotions come off as if she were a real person, standing in front of the reader, screaming at her dead husband, tears dripping from the panels. Bolstered by Alex Guimãraes’ amazing colors, Scharf accomplishes the impossible with his art, further pushing this series into a whole new category of awesomeness.
Making this issue even better is the cover. Each cover by Lee Garbett has been incredible, but the Breaking Bad homage is perfect. The reader already knew family chemist Brigitte Winters was not to be toiled with, but seeing her Walter White style proves she has a lot more to give to the series. Under her mother’s tutelage, she starts to leave a vicious mark in this issue.
If you have not read Bone Parish yet, this is the time to catch up before issue 5 releases. Only four issues into this twelve-issue series and already it’s one of the best horror comics. Where the story goes from here and who will survive the Ash war is impossible to guess, but it will be one heck of a ride.
Creative Team: Writer – Cullen Bunn; Artist – Jonas Scharf; Colors – Alex Guimãraes; Letters – Ed Dukeshire; Cover – Lee Garbett; Variant Cover –Tyler Crook
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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