The Low Low Woods #4 – Carmen Maria Machado, Joe Hill, Writers; Dani, Dan McDaid, Artists; Tamra Bonvillain, John Kalisz, Colorists
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: As we hit the two-thirds point–The Low, Low Woods #4— of this slow-burn horror series, the secrets of the burning town become a little clearer. It kicks off with a fascinating prelude that tells the story of a connection that the girls discovered when they were much younger, during a fight between them. The concept of soulmates that suffer when the other one does is something that’s been explored before, and is often a favorite concept for fanfiction. Is Machado hinting at an endgame pairing for the two? I wouldn’t be surprised, but given how strong the bond between them is shown to be in the Low, Low Woods #4 as the town continues to plunge into chaos, it’s a great way of showing how long this bond has existed.
The first half of the issue is almost leisurely – flashbacks, reunions, dinner with a friend’s parents – it’s all so that when the horror shows up in a big way in the second half, it’s all the more effective.
And oh, boy does it come. An army of skinless men, followed by a horrific horned revenant that’s too big for a single page. The violence they unleash is fast, vicious, and threatens to take the life of a major member of the cast. That sends the girls running to the house of the mysterious witch they met last issue, who owes a boon to one of their mothers. She’s able to pull off a miracle, but that just triggers a new sequence of reveals and events that indicate the latter third of this series is going to be a disturbing finish.
Carmen Maria Machado’s story is strong and she’s populated it with a pair of compelling main characters, but the real all-star here is Dani, whose strength for surrealism and body horror is at its best in this series. This is one of the slower-paced stories in the Hill House line, but it also feels like the one that’ll hold up among the best when completed.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.