I Hate This Place #4 is published by Image Comics, written by Kyle Starks, art by Artyom Topilin, colors by Lee Loughridge, and letters by Pat Brosseau. With Dante leading the way, our beleaguered couple head into the woods in the hopes of exorcising the paranormal infestation that keeps them bound to their ranch. But things quickly spiral out of control, and the trio is soon lost and running for their lives. What’s more, monsters and ghosts aren’t the only things prowling the grounds.
This book hits the ground running, and till the reader flips the page on the final panels, it never stops. As the trio flees from deadly peril into deadly peril, I Hate This Place #4 only slows down once or twice, and that’s just long enough to set up its characters for another attack. While most of this book’s intense moments deliver wonderfully on the energy the book sets up for them, it does get off to a bit of an underwhelming start.
As readers will recall, the last issue closed with our protagonists coming face to face with the dreaded “Horned Man.” This particular monstrosity has been hinted at throughout the book as a potential Big Bad for the story. While his initial appearance in the last issue saw him plunging his soon-to-be victims into their darkest memories, how the group manages to escape him and how quickly it happens completely undercuts everything that it feels like he is supposed to be.
Beyond this less than steller opening, I Hate This Place #4 manages to bring a string of excellent structured encounters for our protagonists to overcome. There are clever moments, and the story gives each just enough time to feel like a whole, well-formed scene before keeping the book sprinting into the next. Even with all the threats and terrors that infest the story, it still makes time for some humanity amongst its pages. We continue to see Trudy and Gabby being the loving and supportive couple they have been since they were first introduced. While these moments are brief, they are tremendously important as they reassert their emotional presence in the tale, keeping them from becoming merely targets for the beasties.
The art manages to enhance the thrilling story with everything it provides. Every monster, threat, and close-call helps to deliver its impact through the book’s consistent and skillful line work. Combining with these great lines is a shifting color palette that does a lot to keep the energy of the book at its fever pitch. Working in harmony with both is the lettering. The ample sound effects blend in wonderfully with the art to add a bit of extra fuel to the story’s struggles.
When all is said and done, I Hate This Place #4 delivers a lot of great moments. Despite its momentary stumble in its opening, the rest of the story delivers hit after hit as our heroes struggle to survive their time in the woods.
I Hate This Place #4 is available now wherever comics are sold.
I Hate This Place #4
I Hate This Place #4 delivers a lot of great moments. Despite its momentary stumble in its opening, the rest of the story delivers hit after hit as our heroes struggle to survive their time in the woods.