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Review Brew: Dead of Winter #4

Writer: Kyle Starks
Artist/Colors: Gabriel “Gabo” Bautista
Letterer: Crank!
Publisher: Oni Press
Price $3.99

At the end of the last issue, Ruckus was arrested by the mad police officer. This issue picks up with Diaz, Forest, Carla, and Sparky the Super Dog, looking for a way to spring Ruckus.

Dead of Winter #4 is great and manages to stick the landing in the end. The story is simple and pretty straightforward. They’re trying to infiltrate the station and get Ruckus out. It starts a little slow but does move along at a steady pace. Starks writing is strong and makes the characters feel relatable. He makes use of most of the characters, while one doesn’t add much to the plot. You could’ve cut that one character out, and it wouldn’t change anything in the story. The dialog is exceptional and adds to the growth of one of the characters. It also makes a point about how the real world is scarier than the zombie apocalypse. You could make a case for that if you want to get deep into it. Starks integrates the humor subtlety, and it doesn’t feel out of place. A few scenes actually made me chuckle, and adds a bit levity to the title. There are some tense moments that happen, and you don’t know if the characters are going to make it out alive. Throughout the title, we’ve been getting these brief glimpses of Sparky’s past, and this issue shows it all. Sparkys origin is short but full of heroism and heartbreak for the super dog. We do find out who the policeman is, but it’s not enough for me to care about him. He’s just a big menacing foe for the crew to run from and fight. The comic does come full circle in the end, which I didn’t see coming. It caught me off guard and felt like a plot device. It didn’t bother me, but it could’ve gone down differently.

The art by Bautista is still consistent and looks solid. Characters still have that anime-ish style to them, and keeps you interested in what’s going on. Bautista captures the action scenes well and manages to give room for the humor in the title to takes place. He makes the police officer quite terrifying. Making him feel like a slasher from a horror film, that won’t stop coming after you. The linework is impressive, especially the detail of the characters and environment. The panel layouts are fine, but the placement of a character in one panel looks odd. It happens near the end and looks like they vanish from that scene. I like the color scheme, and how it changes for certain scenes. The lettering by Crank!, is placed well and doesn’t detract from the art.

Overall, Dead of Winter #4 was enjoyable and ends with not a bang, but a sense of camaraderie.

4 Super Dogs out of 5

About Ray W (239 Articles)
Ray was born in the early 90's. He loves movies, comics, manga, anime, and 3D modeling. His favorite anime are: Ghost in the Shell, Psycho-Pass, Parasyte, Hellsing, Gundam Wing, G Gundam, Petshop of Horrors, Heroman, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Golgo 13, Saint Seiya, Ultimate Muscle, Baki the Grappler, Soul Eater, Wolf's Rain, Outlaw Star, S-Cry-D, Blue Gender, Ronin Warriors, Sailor Moon, Evangelion, Gatchaman, Speed Racer, and Dragon Ball Z. He is also an avid gamer with his all time favorite being Ratchet and Clank series,
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