Crone #4 is published by Dark Horse Comics, written by Dennis Culver, art by Justin Greenwood, colors by Brad Simpson and letters by Pat Brosseau. Having come face to face with the resurrected D’Kayde only to learn it was their former ally Vor in the last issue, Bliss and Gasper are held prisoner awaiting whatever will come next. After a brief exchange between Bliss and Gasper, they face Vor to learn how he came to become D’Kayde, what he plans to do with them, and much more.
The tradition well established, this book opens with a flash back to Bliss’s younger days. It provides her last scene before returning to her mountain. This serves excellently to bring the past effectively up to the present. It also shows Bliss’s last interaction with Vor, setting up the tale that follows.
Crone #4 is a tough style of comic to review. Very little that takes place in this story can be talked about directly, as it’s all basically one huge spoiler. Culver delivers Vor’s story in a clear way. Even though there is a bit of jumping around between different periods of Vor’s past, Culver keeps the narrative easy to follow. The transformation of Vor from sword-wielding adventurer to a dark tyrant is well thought out. His obsession with his destiny pulls him down a dark path and transforms him into the tyrant he has become.
Throughout the telling of Vor’s history there are several interludes where the reader returns to the present day. These moments are often used to deliver another emotional blow to our heroes. Unfortunately for me, these moments struggled to land. I think it’s because, with the exception of Bliss, the other characters haven’t been fleshed out enough for me to truly care about them. While the moments are sad, they lack the punch the scenes are going for.
Crone #4’s art continues to present its story well. Greenwood’s pencils strive to represent the anger, hurt, and sorrow that the characters feel. And while he is mostly successful, it’s Simpson’s colors that continue to truly enhance this story. As the mood shifts and changes within Vor’s recollections, Simpson’s colors change perfectly to capture the moods presented therein. Simpson’s understanding of when a single color will do more for a panel than many is perfect. Overcomplicating an image can muddy the meaning. Simpson’s simplistic approach is perfect for this issue.
While much of the issue fell a little short for me, the final pages truly hit their mark. With the choices now laid before Bliss, she makes a decision that is difficult to see. Where this story goes next month will be interesting. While it hasn’t managed to keep to the heights I saw in its first issue, I have hopes that next month’s conclusion will see it pay off on the emotional story that I saw promised in there.
Crone #4 is available February 5th wherever comics are sold.
While much of the issue fell a little short for me, the final pages truly hit their mark.