This week from BOOM! Studios we get everyone’s favorite title because it takes three days to say it – We Only Find Them When They Are Dead 4. Captain Malik and the three man crew of the Vihaan II went looking for a living god. They harvest the parts of the dead, but Captain Malik’s dream is to find one that still lives. Last issue they seemed to have found one, but things did not go according to plan. Now some tough choices need to be made.
Choices – Cover2Cover
I always loved the artwork in this title. The images look sharp and crisp and the colors vivid. The artists seem to like to do color themes from panel to panel. One thing I like is how each panel uses a dominant color for the entire panel. Things may be their true color underneath, but overall the panel will take on a dominant color such as red or green. The colors do not always correspond directly with a chosen character, but it’s close.
The artists also like to use a lot of panels per page. In comics, creators can use a few panels stretched any number of ways, or occasionally do a full page panel. In this issue they use many panels per page. It looks both amazing and confusing. Some lay in the traditional grid pattern, others streak diagonally across the page. It makes the pages very active and intense, but at the same time parts of the story become confusing.
The time jumps on the first few pages do not help. I needed to read these pages a few times to understand what they were trying to do. It is both brilliant and befuddling.
Choices – The Time Is at Hand
In issue 4, the crew of the Vihaan II found their living god, but things did not go according to plan. Alice, the quartermaster, drifts through space, presumably dead. The big problem comes from their tail. Escort Richter sits behind them in a badly damaged ship, but that does not mean she won’t blow them away at the first chance. Everyone has a choice to make.
Captain Malik must choose whether to save their own butts or rescue Alice. For Malik this choice doesn’t even need thought. He will not abandon Alice. The cool part here is that this choice reflects his thoughts and actions from the first couple pages. The death of his family and brother haunt him to this day, so this current situation draws heavily on these past events. It helps he knows Richter too. He knows she will not fire on him. Not like this.
This decision then gives ‘acting captain’ (and very rough pilot) Jason his choice. Does he save his skin and his sister’s, letting his Captain and lover (former?) die? Or does he figure some way to save them? It doesn’t help when Richter restarts her engines and takes off after the space walking Captain.
The choice then falls to Ella, Jason’s sister? She protested this trip from the beginning. Her brother is determined to rescue Malik and Alice, but he also won’t do it without Ella’s consent. Once again feeling like she has no choice, she gives it.
Choices – Consequences
Everyone makes their choices. Malik knows he will die by his choice, but he wants to get closer to the god to see if any solutions can be found. The problem is Richter. She blames Malik for the death of his brother, but damn if she doesn’t hate him! This in turn calls for Jason to rescue his captain. The Vihaan II may not have weapons, but as his sister says when she gives the okay “The knife is sharp and ready for work”. The nice thing about a ship designed to dissect gods is that the laser scalpel can make short work of an unsuspecting ship.
Then the wheels really fall off. In the process of disabling Richter’s ship, the Vihaan II’s laser kills the god before Malik can reach its head. It also leaves a very pissed off Richter squaring off against Malik, and only she packs the blaster.
I am loving the overall storytelling this crew is doing for this title. The premise remains fascinating, the characters exude personality and the design leads to a fast paced feel for the overall story. I can’t wait to see hos Malik gets away from Richter next issue.