Review – Four Eyes: Hearts Of Fire #4 (of 4) (Image Comics)


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Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Joe Kelly
Art: Max Fiumara
Release Date: 27th April 2016

This comic made me cry on the train to work this morning. Like a big baby. A big, hairy baby. A big, hairy, middle-aged baby.

If you’ve been following the story to date, you’ll know that Enrico has taken a hard road to train his dragon, Four Eyes, with a barbed wire whip.  You’ll also know that at the end of the last issue we left Four Eyes in his first dragon battle, and in mortal danger. I have to give one spoiler here… Four Eyes makes it to the end of the issue, but my god what a journey. For the dragon and for Enrico. By the end of the comic Enrico has begun to re-evaluate and redefine his relationship with his world. With Fawkes, with Mr Jorge the “stupid fruit man”, and with Four Eyes.

Along with the brutal dragon battle, and the redefining of Enrico’s world view, there is a sub-plot simmering away that has run from the first panel of the first issue, with the return of a relation. These will obviously build to some crescendo in the next story arc, which had better be on the way soon, because I desperately want to continue on this emotional roller-coaster ride.

This comic hits you so hard in the feels it’s unbelievable. I have tried for the last hour to think of a comic which has had me run through so many emotions in so few pages. Eric Powell’s Big Man Plans comes close, but for all of its intensity it doesn’t prod at all the emotional levels that Four Eyes: Hearts of Fire does.

I hate (just a little bit) Joe Kelly for making me cry like a big hairy middle aged baby. For tying my stomach in knots and for toying with my emotions so wantonly. At the same time, I want to give him a great big hug for pulling me into such an engrossingly mesmerising story.

What can I say about Max Fiumara’s artwork? I love it. Love it love it love it. His pencils are beautifully brought to life by the mainly monochromatic palette which is the perfect accent for his line work.

This is a hard read but for all the right reasons. In my review for issue two I said that this story might never be heartening. I was wrong. There’s light and hope on these pages, but also a whole lot of “OMG this could still all go so wrong for Enrico and Four Eyes”. But that’s what makes this story a magnificently dark joy.

Rating: 5/5 (Did I tell you that it made me cry like a big hairy middle aged baby?)

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rxyjwppkjrmmxij7yk76The writer of this piece was: John Wallace
John Tweets from @jmwdaredevil

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