Underwinter: Field of Feathers #4 Review

Written by: Ray Fawkes

Art by: Ray Fawkes

Published by: Image Comics

Underwinter: Field of Feathers #4 might be my favorite issue of this new arc. For those who don’t know me, that’s pretty high praise since I absolutely adore this book. It tackles cosmic horror in ways that most authors wish they could, and it tackles the surreal in ways most artists wish they could. Now with that being said, Field of Feathers isn’t quite as good as the previous run of concert players and angry duck gods with big dicks.

Yeah that was a thing. Go buy the trade.

What issue #4 of this arc does that the others don’t is provide some groundwork. Yes, I was able to follow the first three, but it was always a challenge. A father is kidnapping his kids and their mother is turning into a flock of angry birds. That’s not normal. Fathers don’t kidnap their kids! Issue #4 both acknowledges the “not normal” and then confronts it in a way that’s dark, horrible, and positively engaging.

It’s funny how a hired killer can humanize a tragedy, but since I as the reader am in his shoes, it works. It’s some brilliant storytelling, told in a great voice that’s both consistent, curious, and just a little scared too.

The theming is, if nothing else, consistent. How do normal people confront magic? How do normal people confront the cosmic and surreal? The answer is generally not well, yet with an adaptability that only humans can muster. Coping is another story entirely of course.

I’ve spent a good few paragraphs praising Ray Fawkes as an artist, so I don’t know if this one is necessary. The man is a talent, a gorgeous painter of the dark and twisted. He bleeds in these little bits of groundwork to images that have no basis in reality, and he does it with a style that only comic books can deliver. He’s awesome.

Underwinter: Field of Feathers #4 is basically everything I love about this series. It’s scary, it’s dark, it’s twisted, and it makes me yearn for more. I still think this series will best be read in trades, but until then, I’m glad to be getting the distorted pieces.