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Review – Road of Bones #4 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Rich Douek
Artist: Alex Cormack
Letters: Justin Birch
Release Date: 14th August 2019


Roman and Sergei continue their desperate struggle through the wilderness, mile after mile of unforgiving and seemingly endless white mountains, with no shelter or food to be found. Their only hope for survival appears to be the discovery of the hunting lodge that Grigori promised was just over the next hill. However, appearances are deceiving, and when Roman and Sergei are forced to change their plans yet again, this story rushes towards its grizzly conclusion with a shocking and truly haunting twist.

I’m fairly certain I can’t be the only one thinking, what the hell is it with Russians and cannibalism? They seem to have more cases than all of the other countries in the world combined. On the upside, it does make for some superb horror stories, so grab your forks and bibs you Russian psychos and keep giving the likes of Douek and Cormack material to thrill us with.

So, what the hell do I say about this series that I haven’t already in my reviews of the previous issues? At this point, I am mostly repeating myself in shouting from the rooftops how good each issue has been. As isolation thrillers go, this series has been pretty much perfect, with a continuous build of tension and terror throughout. Rich Douek has woven a narrative that is psychologically horrifying as well as giving us some fantastic scenes of pure bloody violence that has the reader holding their breath and on the edge of their seat page after page. The final issue of this series is just one long spiral into madness and flesh rending terror that provides the perfect payoff to end the story on.

Alex Cormack, for me, is the perfect complement to Douek’s writing and I’ve made no bones (pun intended) about just how highly I rate his work. He just seems to produce panel after panel of perfect work. He produces characters that are so expressive and interesting (in a dark and ugly way) that I’ve frequently found myself staring at single panels for so long that I have to give myself a nudge to move on. This is a man who can terrify you with just an expression in a pair of eyes, and who can produce panels that simply nail you to your seat. As artists producing horror stories go, Alex Cormack has consistently shown us that he has what it takes to legitimately horrify us with his work, whether it’s with a blood soaked frenzy or by depicting a slow descent into the madness caused by isolation.

Also, without trying to sound smug, I did have an inkling of where this story was going, and having read the issue, I’m glad I was right.

Ultimately, Road of Bones is a story that grips you by the throat from the first page and drowns you in its crazed, bloodshot eyes and grinning bloodied maw right up to the last panel. And what a last panel, imagine if Dan Akroyd’s Santa from trading places had taken a shit ton of drugs and fallen in a vat of blood. Got that image in your head? Well, it’s about half as awesome as the actual panel, but probably as good as I can articulate!

If you haven’t jumped on board yet, each of the existing three issues seems to be going through reprint after reprint so you’ve got ample opportunity to catch up. If you’ve been with the story from the start, you are not going to be disappointed by the ending. It’s a killer!

Rating: 5/5.


[PREVIEW ARTWORK]






The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏


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