Guest Writer: Bryan Parke
This article made possible by a gift of a review copy, QWERTY and rolling natural 20s.
We begin in the past; a flashback; alongside a young woman and we are witness to strange tales of a plague and a rapture before an angry man commits a terrible and violent murder.
We move to the present day; the girl and a friend are on the street seem keen to remain anonymous, avoiding surveillance drones as they make their way to their sanctuary, a strange, almost otherworldly woodland, hidden in the city; a wonderland in the wastes.
Cut scene; a fast car driven by an angry woman named Berg takes a young boy and a man home from a car wreck. There’s obviously history, and tension between these people. Meanwhile Berg’s father is questioned by the murderer from the stories opening; it seems the criminal and the young witness are related.
Back to the sanctuary and it soon transpires the two youngsters, JC and Lucas, are becoming more than friends! This moment of tranquillity does not last for us, as we cut scene once again. Berg’s father is murdered, pandemonium breaks out as the locals seek to get away before Berg returns, and we meet a very odd kid named Billy (with a fondness for explosives and a willingness to lead people to Lucas).
And we finish with Lucas awaking from a nightmare, and predictions of disaster!
The Wicked Righteous #4 drops an unfamiliar reader into the middle of a complex story, yet is still entertaining and engaging. The plot unfolds with punchy, short scenes which enhance the race against the clock scenarios which are seemingly unfolding before us; even JC and Lucas’s brief respite is rudely broken.
The art is well done, and the colouring sympathetic to the scene in question (compare JC’s bright sanctuary to the dark back room of the bar where Berg’s father is beaten). I’ve come completely cold to The Wicked Righteous series, picked it up mid run and enjoyed it so much I’d like to pick up the earlier issues to see how the story has come to this point. It can be a challenge to pick up a new title “on spec”, but this is one series for which it is worth picking up the gauntlet.