The Lonesome Hunters #4 shows us that birds will be birds. It doesn’t matter how powerful their magic is. All they want are shiny stuff, and this issue demonstrates it in the most darkly hilarious way possible.

The Lonesome Hunters #4: Details

"The Lonesome Hunters #4" cover art by Tyler Crook.
Lupe to the rescue! With a sword she barely knows how to use! Cover artist: Tyler Crook.

The Lonesome Hunters #4 is the 4th issue (you can read reviews for issues #1, #2, and #3 here) of this dark fantasy horror (and horror comedy) adventure comic book series. Tyler Crook (B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth, Harrow County) is the writer and artist behind this comic, so you’re getting the full Tyler Crook experience here. Crook is also the cover artist for the sole cover art. Lastly, Dark Horse Comics is the publisher behind this comic book.

The Lonesome Hunters #4 went on sale on September 21, 2022 for a retail price of $3.99. You can preorder this comic in both physical and digital forms directly from the Dark Horse Comics webstore.

Warning: spoilers for The Lonesome Hunters #4 below. If you want to read this darkly hilarious story about birds obsessed with shinies, then stop here, and come back once you’ve grabbed your own precious shiny for yourself.

The Lonesome Hunters #4 ~ Spoilery Plot Summary

"The Lonesome Hunters #4" preview pages 1-2.
Feeling like the dog left behind in the car, Lupe?

The Lonesome Hunters #4 picks up tangentially where we last left off, with Lupe sitting in the car while she’s waiting for Howard to come back from negotiating with the magpie queen for their safety. However, a chat with their magpie prisoner reveals to her that the queen has no intention of honoring any sort of deal. She wants the sword, and she wants it at any cost. Thus, Lupe has to go in armed with a said magic sword and save Howard from likely a very painful death involving magpies.

Lupe sneaks into the magpies’ hideout through a conveniently unguarded back door. Unfortunately, the door turns out to be not quite as unguarded as it initially appeared. A couple of magpie-possessed corpses and more normal-ish magical magpies are in the room just behind the door, and they all apparently find the sword irresistibly shiny. A quick sword slashes and dispatches a corpse though, revealing it to be full of shinies the magpie had apparently stashed in it.

The violence shocks the magpies enough that Lupe can dash through them to the queen’s chamber. Lupe distracts the queen with a thrown silver watch before cutting her in half. The bisection reveals her to also be full of shinies, which the other magpies eagerly swoop down on. Apparently, they have no love for their former queen and instantly squabble over her treasures. Howard and Lupe slip away in the ensuing chaos and drive away into the night.

Howard and Lupe: Mobile Lost and Found Service?

"The Lonesome Hunters #4" preview page 3.
My, such a helpfully traitorous little magpie, isn’t he?

While on the road, Lupe and Howard have a little heart-to-heart talk where she helps him reaffirm the value of his own life. That heart-to-heart also makes Howard decide to return the sword to its rightful owner. Not the church, but the true owner. Only, he has no idea who or what the owner of the sword is. All he knows is that his church stole it from a “demon”. So he and Lupe go on yet another quest to find Litha (a nature goddess) to find out the identity of said owner, with the magpie being forced to tag along in the cat carrier.

Meanwhile, Howard finally takes the time to Tina back. He tells her where Lupe had disappeared to, and his current quest. Tina makes him promise to keep her updated on his progress, and then once he hangs up, promptly calls her grandmother. Said grandmother is connected to the church, and Tina is apparently more loyal to them than she is to Howard. How else do you explain her assuring her grandmother that the sword will be back in church hands “very soon”? Will the church take back the sword from Howard’s dead body? Will that magpie ever actually get free from that blasted cat carrier? Presumably, we’ll find out all of that in the next issue of The Lonesome Hunters.

The Lonesome Hunters #4: The Good

"The Lonesome Hunters #4" preview page 4.
I don’t know which is funnier: the bird who can’t keep his beak shut, or the many faces of Lupe.

The story of The Lonesome Hunters #4 is my favorite part about it. I’m a fan of horror comedies, so I’m loving Tyler Crook’s combination of dark fantasy/horror and hilarious comedy (intentional or not). The magpie queen in the midst of strangling Howard is juxtaposed against the caged magpie happily blabbing about the queen’s plan to Lupe. Then we have Lupe confronting the magpie-possessed people, only to have shinies spill out when she slashes them, revealing that the magpies have been using their meat puppets as treasure chests. In my opinion, this is a horror comedy at one of its finest.

Then we have Howard and Lupe, without who the story would mean nothing. Again, I make the comparison to Carl and Russell from Up but set in a dark fantasy world, because that’s who they remind me of. Although I guess that means their caged magpie is an unwilling Dug? Oh well, at least he’s cute too.

Lastly, the art of The Lonesome Hunters #4 ties the story and characters together. Especially in terms of facial expressions. Tyler Crook is really good at them. I would say as good as Tatsuya Endo of Spy x Family fame. I would love for this comic too to see an animated adaptation at some point in the future if possible.

The Lonesome Hunters #4: The Bad

"The Lonesome Hunters #4" preview page 5.
Ah, the classic trope of everyone forgetting to guard the back door. Only. not really.

Honestly, this is actually one issue of The Lonesome Hunters I have complaints about. Not even a minor one. I’m just sitting here, eagerly awaiting the next issue so I can find out what happens to Howard, Lupe, and their magpie…friend(?) next.

Source: Dark Horse Comics