Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Review: Spring Heeled Jack #4

Writer/creator: Tony Deans
Art: Seth Kumpf and Lucas Duimstra
Letters: Joshua Cozine
Publisher: Alterna Comics
Released 28th October 2015 (digital)

Spring Heeled Jack is a nice little interpretation of the old legend. It's nice to see mythology explored and subverted to tell a story and when it's done well, it's very enjoyable. This issue sees the climax of Doyle and Bell's struggle against the demonic Spring Heeled Jack.
Now for me the climax does fall a little flat. The writing is a little trite in places and this makes the story roll awkwardly towards it's conclusion, rather than hurtle excitedly towards it. Don't get me wrong you still care about the character's plight and the issue captured my attention enough to read it in one sitting, but it just lacked that extra punch to really give you palpitations. Positively there is some snappy dialogue and a neat little twist on the last page, but I wish more had been made of Bell's metaphorical conflict with the underworld when he confronts Jack, it had so much potential that was only partly realised for me. 
The artwork is good, it isn't the most detailed of comics, but it's mainly solid work and it has that independent comic charm that I have come to enjoy. There is some inconsistency but not enough to distract you from its overall impact. There are points in the issue where more could of been made of the panel layout, that would of emphasised some of the drama, but again it didn't put me off, I still remained engrossed to the end. The colour work is good and the underground sections reflect the dank and murk well, again sometimes it's simplistic but it's part of its charm. 

Overall this is a neat little horror comic that has it's own thrills and charms. The script has its weaker moments, but they never made me lose interest, rather become a little exasperated over how it could be improved with a few tweaks. The art is independently charming and so it is a little esoteric and may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Remember that all reviews are subjective and really are a reflection of what we, as reviewers, feel when we pick up a book. So bear that in mind, I moderately enjoyed this issue but that doesn't mean you won't find it completely thrilling. There's a lot to be said of the strides independent publishing is making, so this issue is worth giving a go to support that at least. It will be available on comixology from 28th October. 
Again, if we must give numerical values, for me this would achieve 7/10. 

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