In Review: Penny Dreadful #4

All in all, the issue alternates between serviceable and sublime heading into the conclusion.

Synopsis: In the dark and dank Essex church, Vanessa casts the tarot and reaches out to Mina, who appears on a mission from The Master. In the howling fury that accompanies the descending somnolent women, Mina offers Vanessa a deal; she can save the lives of her friends and companions… if she submits to her darkest nature…

Review: Penny Dreadful #4 is set up for the conclusion with two marvelous narrative beats. In the first, Vanessa enters a trance to communicate with Mina, only to be hailed as “Mother” by Dracula’s minions. In the second, Jonathan Harker is partially drained by Mina. In both scenes, writer Chris King wonderfully inverts Mina’s role from Bram Stoker’s original novel. Unfortunately, the story unfolding around the two main set pieces is rather boiler plate. Our heroes split up and wander around in the mist, killing vampires. Meanwhile, Sir Malcolm threatens to shoot soon-to-be chew toy Harker, as Harker prepares to kill Mina.

The central plot points also provide the visual highlights of the issue. Artist Louie De Martinis deftly uses royal purple to signify Vanessa’s trance journey into the realm where she is hailed like a queen. He also uses royal purple to signify the night during which Mina does the bidding of her seemingly superior consort.

All in all, the issue alternates between serviceable and sublime heading into the conclusion

Writers: Andrew Hinderaker, Chris King, Krysty Wilson-Cairns

Artist: Louie De Martinis

Publisher: Titan Comics

Penny Dreadful #4
  • Story, Art
  • Boilerplate monster hunting and stand-offs
  • Story
  • Art
  • Lettering

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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