REVIEW: ‘The Low Low Woods,’ Issue #5

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Low Low Woods #5

DC Comics’ Black Label imprint Hill House Comics has been expanding how we see horror comics through its titles that explore different subgenres and areas of horror. The Low Low Woods has showcased the beauty of dark fantasy each issue with both gorgeously illustrated creatures and events and dynamically dark moments of terror. Written by Carmen Maria Machado, with art by Dani, colors by Tamra Bonvillain, and letters by Steve Wands, The Low Low Woods #5 ups the ante for the series by revealing more of Shudder-To-Think’s history.

While a lot of time has passed since the last issue came out, The Low Low Woods #5 is easy to read, with Machado showcasing how to write a story that is always aware of what came before it. For those needing to catch-up however, issue four saw El and Octavia’s paths converge in an unexpected and bizarre way as the two realize that their experiences are connected through their bodies. Their pleasure and their pain linked to one another. This revelation is the strongest part of the issue but we also see the girls flee skinned men attacking them, seeking refuge with the town witch. Now, in The Low Low Woods #5, Octavia and El’s search for their missing memories comes to a head when the town’s terrible secrets are revealed at last.

The Low Low Woods #5

The opening begins with “Sometimes you have to listen to someone else’s story.” For the last four issues Machado has intimately crafted the relationship between El and Octavia, taking time to build out their story and their connection to the supernatural of the town. Now, for The Low Low Woods #5 she switches gears and tells the story of the witch and by the same token, the story of Shudder-To-Think. The history of the town and its magic is steeped in trauma. While we saw the traumatic events that each girl had seen and learned about, what they learn from the witch tops that in sadness, retribution, and fear.

Because of the way Machado crafts this story and how each reveal is meticulously paced, it would be a shame to spoil the events of the issue. That said, The Low Low Woods #5 is emotional, showcases the burden women carry, and pushes the series down an even darker path than where it began. The sharp pain that radiates from the witch’s story is enhanced by Dani’s ability to illustrate panels that showcase emotion with little detail, with Bonvillain’s colors providing an atmosphere of age and fear that fits the tension of Machado’s words.

The Low Low Woods #5 is beautiful. It’s powerful. And to put it simply, this series is the top of what Hill House Comics offers. There is mystery, magic, and malevolence on every page that pushes the reader deeper into the fantastical town of Shudder-To-Think. As we go deeper, the trauma keeps exposing itself, and I can’t wait to see where it ends up next issue.

The Low Low Woods #5 is available now where comics are currently sold.

The Low Low Woods #5
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TL;DR

The Low Low Woods #5 is beautiful. It’s powerful. And to put it simply, this series is the top of what Hill House Comics offers. There is mystery, magic, and malevolence on every page that pushes the reader deeper into the fantastical town of Shudder-To-Think. As we go deeper, the trauma keeps exposing itself, and I can’t wait to see where it ends up next issue.