Writer: John Lees
Artist: Alex Cormack
Release Date: 24th January 2018
Writer John Lees has made no secret of his love of movies like Stand by Me and Stephen King’s IT, and those fingerprints are all over the latest issue of SINK, an issue which sees four children ditching school to try and find out what happened to their missing classmate.
To that end, there are subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) nods to the book’s obvious inspirations during the build-up, before Lees abruptly yanks the wheel midway through the issue, sending us lurching headlong into the relentless horror of his fictional Glasgow suburb and stamping his own distinctive imprint onto the proceedings in the process.
This issue also features the much-hyped return of Mr Dig, the fox-mask wearing, shovel-swinging vigilante who stole the show back in issue one. Dig does some typically fine work here during his encounter with the four children, but the character suffers ever so slightly from the spotlight being held on him for so long. He’s perfectly suited to be a terrifying force of nature, sweeping in and causing carnage before disappearing, but he doesn’t resonate quite as strongly here during the extended warehouse scene.
On the visual side of things, Alex Cormack continues to cement his reputation as one of the best kept secrets in the world of comics, with a fantastic knack for tense, cinematic layouts and expressive characters. He also once again showcases a flair for the visceral, busting out the red pen in a major way with an obscenely violent conclusion to the issue which sees… well… just buy it and find out, yeah? Seriously though, if you think the previous three issues were violent and blood-soaked, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
It’s a fantastic visual spectacle for sure, but it also introduces a mystery – the missing classmate – that isn’t actually resolved here, which is a little frustrating. I mean, it does feel a bit like a classic ‘the simplest answer is probably the right one’ situation, but aside from a somewhat ambiguous final page, we’re left none the wiser about what actually happened to poor Martin.
This minor niggle aside, SINK continues to carve out an impressive niche for itself, bringing the violent streets of Glasgow to the wide, terrified eyes of the world. Lees and Cormack continue to be a match made in comic book heaven (or should that be hell?), churning out an issue that initially feels like it’s going to be one thing before suddenly and emphatically deciding to become something else entirely.
Once again, nothing is ever as it seems on the streets of Sinkhill, and it’s going to be sad to say goodbye to this terrifyingly gripping suburb when the final issue goes on sale next month.
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