Review – The Rook #4 (of 4) (Dark Horse)


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Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Steven Grant
Artist: Paul Gulacy
Colorist: Jesus Aburto
Release Date: 20th Jan 2015


I really want to like this. I do, damn it. But I don’t. It’s a mess.

I reviewed the first issue of The Rook back in October and felt that it had potential, but was a little off. I kept reading and issue 2 and 3 were an improvement. Steven Grant brought the story together and it felt more coherent. The pencil work tightened up (Gulacy is talented, but not quite to my taste) and everything felt like it could work.

The art and colours are still okay in this issue, but Steven Grant really seems to have lost the plot, or if the plot hasn’t been lost, it’s been shaken up like a snow globe. Reading this issue feels a bit like trying to navigate through a teenager’s bedroom. You want to get to the bed from the door, and unless it’s your room, you will never find the way across the floor without standing on something you shouldn’t. I just feel like I’ve stood on a week old plate of food with sticky undergarments on top.

It’s disjointed. It’s messy. I had to go back and reread the first 3 issues to get a handle on what’s going on in this one. With time travel stories there really should be a strong thread drawing it all together. A recognisable anchor point. This story doesn’t have that and the narrative suffers because of it.

There is a kernel of a decent tale here. Well I think there might be. Gulacy’s art, whilst an acquired taste, hits a few high notes, the Airship exploding being one. But the art isn’t good enough to save this comic. Lots of ideas, some good, some bad, some nice flourishes and cameos, but ultimately flawed.

Rating: 1.5/5.

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The writer of this piece was: John Wallace
John Tweets from @jmwdaredevil

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