The Nice House on the Lake #4 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: As we reach the penultimate issue of the first half of Tynion and Martinez Bueno’s chilling vacation-in-the-apocalypse thriller, things start becoming a little clearer about the rules of this twisted world. For one thing—how are they going to survive once things start running out? After a brief panic, the rules become clear—gifts will start appearing. Not only do they get supplies, but they get tools to order custom supplies. Walter, whoever or whatever he truly is, has a supply pipeline outside the house, and intends to keep his “guests” as happy zoo animals indefinitely. This creative team is a master of environmental storytelling, letting the various “grocery lists” tell a story all their own. Some are practical, some are incredibly outlandish. And for Molly, whose husband was left behind and presumed dead, the lists become a desperate cry for help that escalates in one of the most disturbing pages of the series.
This book is really almost entirely about how people deal with trauma and uncertainty, but there’s something else lurking around the fringes. This world doesn’t make sense. In some key ways, it’s incomplete, and it’s easy to start wondering if everything is actually as it appears to be. And when Molly gets some help to carry out her dark wishes, it becomes clear just how wrong everything is. The last few pages of this installment deliver one of the biggest shocks so far, and that’s something that shouldn’t be given away to anyone before reading. It feels like with every issue, we go a little deeper down the rabbit hole and find a disturbing world where no rules are for certain. The characters are slowly being revealed and becoming more fleshed out, and while we’re becoming invested in them, it seems clear that this isn’t going to be a happy story for most of them. It’s one of the best horror books in years.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.