HEX WIVES #4 by Ben Blacker, Mirka Andolfo, and Marissa Louise
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
HEX WIVES #4 showcases the fantastic work of writer Ben Blacker, artist Mirka Andolfo and colorist Marissa Louise.
100 %
So Amazing

Our favorite coven returns, and they’re getting more suspicious than ever in HEX WIVES #4. Ben Blacker does well to create more mystery and thrill while implementing an effortless transition once the mood changes. As for the art section, artist Mirka Andolfo and colorist Marissa Louise showcase strong symbolism, impeccable color, and superb illustration.

Witchy Vibes in HEX WIVES #4

We begin with HEX WIVES #3 just after Becky kills Damina’s cat. The coven tries to understand what happened to Becky while Isadora ponders on an important topic Damina mentions to her. The gathers at Mabel’s and ponders about the actions of the men. Their conclusion is to be cautious and better observe what the men do and say.

Blacker’s Strategy in HEX WIVES #4

Blacker has a tentative strategy in HEX WIVES #4. His writing continues to get better, especially now when he makes mystery and thrill a strong theme in this issue. In previous issues of HEX WIVES, I feel as though the element of horror is constant but balanced with a normal and non-traumatic mundane life. As the series continues up to this point, Blacker slowly weighs more on horror. It seems as the story continues, more blood and gore is involved in the coven’s present day (hence the decapitated cat and Isadora cutting herself).

HEX WIVES #4
HEX WIVES #4 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Comics.

With the coven’s pace on finding out the truth, I think we’ll start to see their mundane lives disappear quicker than we expect. Blacker picks up the pace in HEX WIVES #4 on making the coven’s suspicions come to light. What I love is even at a quicker pace, Blacker keeps the plot running smoothly to where the reader doesn’t feel lost or confused about what’s going. This issue is an effortless read in that regard. Plus, with how fast coven’s realizations come to light, Blacker builds more tension in the story and adds a thrill element. He’s carefully done this to have the reader be happy with HEX WIVES #4 while keeping them on the edge of their seat for HEX WIVES #5. This is exactly how I’m feeling right now.

An Ultimate Combination of Storytelling and Art to Show Mood Shift

Blacker, Andolfo, and Louise create an obvious change to the mood after the coven’s conversation at the tree. Once Blacker has Isadora telling the coven to be careful and watch for what’s really going on, you can see in his work how much more suspicious they are. I liked seeing how effortless that transition is. I can almost hear the coven’s tone of voice change from being completely subservient to the men to questioning their actions.

Their inquisitiveness is a good shift in character development. This marks a pivotal point where the coven will soon begin to show their individuality and female prowess. Andolfo and Louise’s efforts in articulating the mood change are effortlessly seen as well. A couple of examples are the change in facial expressions and body language in our characters. When Becky talk to her husband, she has a look of disbelief while crossing her arms when he suggests an online shopping spree. This shows her observing his actions in combination with Blacker writing her asking

“You meant that?”

The Butterfly Effect in HEX WIVES #4

Butterflies remain a dangerous theme in this issue (in a good way). The butterfly panels pick up the pace of the plot. Meaning, every time the women explain or ponder their suspicions, it’s alliteration and foreshadows the end of HEX WIVES #4 and what will eventually happen in later HEX WIVES installments. Which is the coven realizing the truth and all hell breaking loose? 

HEX WIVES #4
HEX WIVES #4 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Comics.

The butterflies make me feel like I’m playing the LIFE IS STRANGE video game by Square Enix. Every time you have a conversation or make an action in the game, a single butterfly pops up in the upper left-hand corner. This symbolizes that a choice you made may have consequences. I feel that because Aaron mentions a pleasant feeling of butterflies to the Witch Mother in order to take away the coven’s free will influences her to use them as a symbol of consequence.

Both the game and HEX WIVES #4 illustrate mystery in a similar way. The only difference is in LIFE IS STRANGE, you as the player are trying to figure out who kills innocent girls. When you find out, it blows your mind because you didn’t expect the outcome. In HEX WIVES #4, you as the reader know what’s happening but the coven doesn’t. You gain thrill as the characters perform actions along with the plot progression. I feel the same thrill in HEX WIVES #4 as I did when playing LIFE IS STRANGE.

All the Small Things Make The Biggest Difference

In reference to the HEX WIVES #3 review, I remember talking about how the cat’s blood was pink. That one tiny detail was addressed in HEX WIVES #4. Becky mentions seeing all kinds of colors, and pink being one of them. Whether or not that applied to the decapitated cat, it was still nice to know that Blacker sort of justifies Lousie’s color choice by making pink a meaningful color. Referring back to the blood, witness the shears turn pink. My theory on this contrast is the pink color is a symbol of Becky’s power unlocking.

The absolute coolest part of HEX WIVES #4 is the very last page. Isadora looks possessed with her suddenly ice blue eyes. I’m surprised by Louse’s choice of color. Normally, when I see a character illustrated as possessed, their eyes glow red or gold. I wonder why Louise chose blue. When Isadora cuts herself,  guess what color the blood is when it trickles down her arm. PINK. I literally screamed because of all the connections to this point and what the end means. The Witch Mother used her magic for everyone to get closer to the truth and their powers (hence the butterflies). Pink is definitely a symbol in more ways than one. And, ISADORA IS BACK. She has to be.

Excited and Speculating What’s Next in HEX WIVES #5

Isadora has her powers now. Does that mean her memories may come back sooner than we think? The coven now has a closer eye on their husbands, what will they catch them doing? Who will unlock their powers next? We have to wait till next time when Isadora throws a dinner party “to end all dinner parties.”

Is your blood pumping for more of the exciting HEX WIVES series? So is ours! Stay tuned for HEX WIVES #5 coming next month.

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