REVIEW: THE UNTAMED #4

The Untamed #4

The Untamed #4

Written by Sebastian A. Jones
Art by Peter Bergting
Layouts by Darrell May
Letters by Troy Peteri
Asunda Font by Christopher Walmsley

Color/32 Pages

Stranger Comics

 

A savage place, Asunda. Even its Oasis is no place of respite from the wind-tossed deserts and the wickedness of man. The town’s name is a mockery to its beleaguered population and strangers both. ┬áThe beggars are hungry, as are the knives. The corrupt are firmly rooted, leeching milk, honey and more besides from this outpost at the edge of the world. So what could draw a soul back to this place once its found escape? Even if that escape is death?

Here we are on the fourth day of the Stranger’s restitution, a week of reaving in return for a week of life returned to him. It’s an unholy covenant between unseen forces and an unkind man who once ground the people of Oasis beneath his feet. Back in the mortal world, our Stranger has kept to his debt and slain his share of taskmasters and thugs. In this time, his cloak has fallen back from his face, revealing more of himself to us and to the girl Niobe who offers him shelter. He has allied himself with the roguish whelp Stutters, a con artist he spares assassination out of what little mercy he still carries. Could this stammering, deceitful boy, discarded by so many, be something of an asset in the Stranger’s ongoing campaign against corruption? Or he might he be a wrinkle in his plans? ┬áThe Stranger has made even more enemies in his short time along the mortal coil. He’s incurred the wrath of his brother and of even more shadowy foes.

The world grows ever larger. Even as the Stranger becomes more familiar to us as readers, the world in which he operates offers more and more mystery, the ratio of cloak to dagger exactly where it ought to be.

In The Untamed #4, Sebastian A. Jones weaves even more political intrigue and mystical arcana into his fascinating saga of revenge and redemption. He’s a script man with a poet’s heart. A dark, twisted poet’s heart beating beneath the floorboards to be sure, but he uses it to great effect in his world-building. Jones has a great ear for dialogue and offers the most sumptuous passages in modern fantasy comics. Few pages go by without yielding a terrific line you can’t help but repeat aloud in a hushed whisper. Magic stuff. Spooky stuff. The good stuff. He introduces a particularly creepy priest and a sordid (not so) gentlemen’s club here, and it lends even more evil to a town gone horribly wrong.

Peter Bergting delivers some extraordinary painted work as well, from a haunting desert landscape gleaming under a swollen blue moon to some truly cinematic battles under cloak of darkness. If the painted approach isn’t always so detailed as some readers might like, the technique absolutely makes up for it with wondrous atmosphere. More often than not, these panels are stunning with a keen understanding of light and color. Take this moment, an establishing shot in the dead of night. Such a perfect sense of place with such foreboding mood.

If you like your fantasy served dark as a neglected fillet mignon, The Untamed is the bleak, merciless poetry you’re after. For complex political intrigue and supernatural revenge in a beautifully realized nightmare realm, look no further.

Story: 4.5/Art: 4.5/Overall: 4.5

(Out of 5 Stars)

You can pick up The Untamed #1-4 on Graphicly today.

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Comments

  1. This sounds interesting. I like that moody art.

  2. Thanks for the awesome review, Paul! Stu – you can pick up Untamed issue 1 for FREE. Peter Bergting killed it!

  3. Sounds and looks like something I’d like, is it available in tpb yet?

  4. I thought of that right after I hit send, thanx…might catch up w it digital or wait for a trade, looks good.

  5. Great review by the way, kind of a wordsmith yourself, I love the whole paragraph where you mention “sumptuous passages”, “Magic stuff. Spooky stuff. The good stuff.”