After a strong introduction to Josiah Black in the first three books of WesterNoir (reviewed here) the fourth book was always something I would be keeping my eye out for.
While our central character Josiah Black had his fair share of ups and downs in those first 3 books and things are less than rosy for him in the opening of this fourth book. Black is still gunning for whoever Baylocke tells him to with orders coming from Calgary as before…..but the killing has left him feeling empty and more than a little tortured by it all. His nightmares of past kills takes it’s toll and he’s just going through the motions as the daily kill after kill has him yearning for a simpler life.
Baylocke & Calgary have different ideas and a double-cross leaves our central character in jail with the one other person that seems to “get” him, Mrs Anderson, on the brink of death after the events of this issue. There’s far more to this issue as it builds on a history that’s been grown quickly in those first three issues and it closes out with a satisfying “end of chapter” feel to it that sets things up for future issues.
Strong characters and a blistering script from Dave West brings all the grit of the west and mixes it with the sinister edge of the supernatural. He manages to build up a central character that’s far from perfect and perhaps more of an anti-hero with his imperfections but he’s still someone we’d like to see catch a break. The art from Gary Crutchley punctuates the wild west/supernatural vibe too as it captures the expanse of the west in simple effective panels mixed with busier ones when needed that balance out well across this and the previous 3 books too.
Chapter one complete and it’s now a countdown for book 5 and beyond and the West/Crutchley team seem to be on this for the long haul….which can only be good news. Another read from Accent UK that highlights just how diverse their releases can be and that strong stories combined with strong art to give us strong comics….great stuff.