Review by Holly von Winckel
This is the best issue of Abattoir so far! The excellence begins with Tae Young Choi’s outstanding cover art, a mosaic of death faces composited to make a compelling portrait of J. Crone himself. By compelling, I mean it is the sort of portrait with the eyes that follow the viewer. Also, it is painted in the various hues of drying blood, a color scheme that humans instinctively recognize. Open it up, and bam! Page one is the kind of birthday memory that would make any healthy eight-year-old cry. Just in time for Mother’s Day, Abattoir reminds me to be grateful I don’t remember my own birth.
The story launches forward from here, full-barrel. I’m sorry about that pun I just made, you won’t get it unless you are also looking at page two of Abattoir 4, but if you are looking at page two right now, you are groaning and cursing my punning. Richard continues on his fevered attempt to unravel Crone’s plan, and Crone continues doing whatever it is he is doing that seems to result in so much gruesome effluvia. Detective Al tries to help Richard and takes a hardcover book to the face for his troubles. Given what sort of unpleasantness Abattoir has doled out thus far, I am thinking I would rather take a book to the face than pretty much anything else that gets done to anyone else. Well played, Detective Al!
The section where Richard goes on a rampage of clarity, dressed like his dear ol’ Dad and fights some kind of walking turd demon with a fireplace poker is super intense. The contrast of his crisp, clean patrolman’s uniform is so stark against the muddy, bloody horror of the unprovoked attack, the scene really rips along. My new favorite word of comic violence is “THRUNCH!”, for the record. By the last page, I can almost see where and how the action climax is going to play out, and it is pretty exciting stuff.
Although I am not a rabid fan of the slasher / gore / horror genre, Abattoir has gotten me thoroughly hooked. Readers who can’t sleep after reading this kind of thing won’t like it, but for fans of the genre and take-it-or-leave-it types both, I think Abattoir has a lot to offer. Abattoir #4 is the beginning of the second half of the series, and if you have read to here, you won’t want to miss this one. The snowball has really gathered momentum and, unless I miss my guess, is headed straight for Hell. This isn’t really for kids, in case you needed to be told what the Mature rating means. Much of most senseless violence is depicted against young people, in the classic trope of I Never Really Knew the Neighbors but They Seemed Like Such Nice People Until the Father Killed Them All.
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