The sinister secrets of Hallam (both the town and who it was named after) continue to be revealed in the penultimate issue of the series. Is it good?
Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland #4 (Dark Horse Comics)
Edward Grey begins to drift off, completely oblivious to the fact that he is being transported by something far more terrifying than any modern cab driver. As you might expect, however, the monster willingly reveals itself, giving the Witchfinder a chance to survive.
While Grey fights for his life, the story flashes back decades earlier to Poole and Hallm fishing for eels. Poole’s first wife comes along and chastises them for being out when dark things might be afoot. As if on cue, they come across a cult ceremony involving human and nonhumans alike. The end result is a horribly tragic death followed by misplaced rage, which leads to the how Unland is today…
…where Grey is still getting his ass kicked by a police officer with eels coming out of his chest. One of them bites him before dying, making it look as though the Witchfinder might not make it. Fortunately for our hero, Poole’s ex-wife is still creeping around the marsh.
After taking him back to her place, he gets a strong, three part dose of medicine, mistaken identity, and shocking revelations.
Is It Good?
What started as a tightly spun horror story has gone a bit wonky here, but that’s to be expected with a good Lovecraftian tale. Unfortunately, some of this “wonkiness” is a result of the narrative not being entirely clear. I’m not sure if writers Kim Newman and Maura McHugh meant to do that, but they have A LOT of loose ends to tie up and/or explain in the final issue.
All that being said, this is still a pretty decent read. The new information that we do receive is well framed with the present action, keeping the narrative from feeling like one big exposition dump. The artwork by Tyler Crook is, as usual, gorgeous and terrifying.
I must admit, however, that what started out as a great series (from my perspective, at least) has me a bit worried heading towards the last chapter. My guess is that it will be great, but it could just as easily go off the rails, as well.
I guess we’ll find out in a month.