12 Gauge Comics/Image Comics 2021
Written by Doug Wagner
Illustrated by Daniel Hillyard
Coloured by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
Our serial killer Walter has sealed himself in an underground bunker with a sunflower death cult. Now he's being hunted by an insane myriad of Husks, Sunflower Girls, and monsters. Everything the cult can send at him. Good thing Walter didn't come alone. That's right. Walter brought along some friends.
Oh my stars and garters to be fair, to be fair, to be fair, this was as far from what I expected to see as it gets and it’s frakkiin glorious! We knew that Walter left the grounds after being dismissed by Madeleine but what we didn’t know is what we learn this issue and we learn it in spades. Can I say that on page five frick and frack look a lot closer than one expects and it’s even more disturbing, and slightly arousing, than what they enjoy doing. Yes everything about this series is wrong on so many levels but it’s so damn interesting and intriguing that one cannot help but become engaged, invested and enthralled by the story we see unfolding before us.
I am a huge fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exquisitely. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how they act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job as portraying them as folks we can either relate to, know of and immense fear. It really does that good a job of making them come to life. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story we’re drawn deeper and deeper into this capriciousness.
I am a huge fan of the way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story are continuing to grow, evolve, strengthen and emerge. The layers contain the plot twists, character introductions and the characterisation plus more good and interesting tidbits all of which add depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is perfectly achieved.
The interiors here are bloody magnificent! The linework is phenomenal and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create this level & quality of detail work is truly astounding. The creativity and imagination on display here is mindbogglingly brilliant and whether that’s the twins, the way we see the killings or the clothes they wear it all creates such indelible moments. That we see backgrounds utilised as we do to enhance the moments and expand the scenes plus how they work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is sensational. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a masterful eye for storytelling. The colour work is bloody divine! How we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilsied to create the shading, highlights and shadow work showcase such skill and talent in how to maximise the effects we see, from the grating to the walls or all the shades of red it’s done with such aplomb.
This shouldn’t be praised as much as I’m doing considering what the heck we see happening throughout the book but it’s so much damn fun. Walter really likes this guy and he’s his friend and friends do whatever it takes to rescue each other when needed. There is something to be said for that kind of devotion to a friend even if he did want to send him away fro life. With some of the more brilliant writing and characterisation alongside these mindbogglingly brilliant interiors this is definitely a highlight in my reading pile because of the sheer joy it brings me.