After spending an issue looking through the eyes of Mina’s father Malcolm, we are now in a room full of people with differing ideas on how they can save Mina. But they’re not alone, the one who has taken her knows of their intention and is getting ready to deal with each of them. Inside a classic 19th century home tempers are running high which creates wonderful suspense. There is also a sense of unease as monsters surround the party on their journey to find Mina Harker.
Chris King takes up the mantle of writer in Penny Dreadful #4. As we saw a style of flashback in the previous issue written by Andrew Hinderaker, Chris King brings the story back to the task at hand; finding Mina. He does this by not only bringing the story to the characters’ present time, but also shining a little light on the beasts that have taken Mina away. We learn a bit of their plans, but not everything. Here King allows the reader to begin to draw a few conclusions. Right or wrong, this method of writing helps to bring you deeper into the story as you theorize the what, why, and how.
King also continues to play up the combative roles of a husband trying to bring peace to his wife, and the father deathly afraid of losing his daughter. Though they each have their motivations for finding Mina, those motivations will as time progresses, complicate matters even more. By doing this, each of the characters are able to better manifest their complex natures through both heavy emotion and dialogue.
The work of Louie De Martinis keeps up the pace of a story that is only getting faster. As he makes use of the night, the surroundings and people become less detailed in a way where it feels as if you’re able to physically see the fog that is invading their minds. As time passes they know that they have to move fast, and De Martinis captures this in the motion each character takes as they run through the woods and encounter beasts looking for their fill.
The darkness around the house and in the woods, is used well and it is exactly what people would be afraid to encounter. Though some of the details begin to become too lost for my tastes, such as the facial features of Vanessa in the middle of the issue. I believe it’s a bit over used and does not give these characters the justice they deserve.
Penny Dreadful #4 is now drawing people with different ideas together. Though they want to save Mina, each have their own idea on how to go about doing so. This allows the reader to enjoy a conflict within the party. Chris King’s writing fleshes out this conflict and brings it to the forefront. Louie De Martinis continues his excellent work with the art. As the tone and style of the story changes, so does the art. The use of shadows and details brings to life the dialog and story.
- Chris King is able to provide the reader with a widening world of monsters
- Louie De Martins use of darkness gives a aura of mystery
- The lack of detail with some of the main characters at times becomes too much and hinders your visualization