Underwinter: Field of Feathers #5 Review

Written By: Ray Fawkes

Art By: Ray Fawkes

Published By: Image

Another month goes by, and another month proves Ray Fawkes is a powerhouse of surrealist horror. “Wonderfully unpleasant” is perhaps a good way to describe Underwinter. “Wonderful” works too, but that’s a lot of compliments for an introduction. I guess let’s just dive in.

Field of Feathers #5 does something really quite deranged for a comic book: It tells three interwoven stories in one issue. The first story takes place where we left off, with the two kids talking to a man wearing a suit. We know nothing good will come of this, yet it isn’t horror that the man speaks of but three musicians. The second story involves the Apollo moon landing, and the third is about the Tower of Babel.

Of the three stories, the main one with the musicians is the most important, and the most gripping. It’s why we’re here. Yet the way Fawkes weaves the three together, balancing their climaxes and bigger plot points against one another, turns what should be a messy 26 pages into something really gripping and tense. I know how the Tower of Babel ends, yet coupling its fall with the cosmic emptiness of space and the cosmic horror that is Underwinter elevates everything.

The whole setup made me nervous.

Fawkes’ panel layouts too elevate the story. His thick, black gutters remain, but now he’s putting panels within panels. Each page is like this odd window into another world, yet the worlds play off each other in a really visceral way. I’ll admit that it takes a bit more concentration than your average comic to really get, but it’s worth the time and patience.

Underwinter: Field of Feathers #5 is another exceptional installment in what is an exceptional series. It’s strange and cold and spooky as hell, and I’m glad to be here.