THE FEARSCAPE #4 by Ryan O'Sullivan, Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov, and Andworld Designs
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
As the series winds to a close, Henry Henry is unraveling. He has to face what he's done. Unfortunately, it's not so easy for Henry to admit wrongdoing. We'll see what happens.
99 %
Fears Unraveling
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If Ryan O’Sullivan is trying to make us angry, he is definitely succeeding. I’ve never been angrier at a character in my life. Yeah, I’ve thrown books, but I’ve never wanted to throttle a character as badly as I want to Henry Henry. THE FEARSCAPE #4 is the catalyst we all needed. Ryan O’Sullivan, Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov, and Andworld Designs give us an issue that will make you angry but also leave you craving more.

Henry Henry has committed an atrocity. He’s murdered the Muse. But what happens now?

Forgiveness is Not Given, It’s Earned

Horrified, Henry leaves the scene of the murder. Disoriented and lost, he stumbles his way around until an unexpected person finds him: The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Immediately, the Hero with a Thousand Faces feels something is amiss. He abrasively asks Henry where the Muse is at. Unfortunately, Henry is quick on his feet with lies. He explains that the Muse died protecting him, sacrificing herself in his place. The Hero with a Thousand Faces accepts this, telling Henry to leave and he will go find the Muse. Henry leaves as the Hero with a Thousand Faces goes to find the Muse’s body.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces finds Jill, crying over the Muse’s body. He tells her not to fear, and she’s oddly accepting of his presence. Although we are not entirely sure what their exchange really is, we know that the Hero with a Thousand Faces no longer trusts Henry. Meanwhile, Henry has returned to the Fearscape. He enlists the help of the triplets, which Henry himself admits that we, the reader, don’t want him to do. But Henry is gonna do what Henry’s gonna do. Again, we’re not entirely sure what their plan together is.

Henry then returns to the Weeping Castle, convincing anyone who will listen that it was the Hero with a Thousand faces that killed the Muse. Unfortunately, this plan, too, shall fall apart.

THE FEARSCAPE #4
Image courtesy of Vault Comics

Tabula Rasa in THE FEARSCAPE #4

This issue is shrouded with more mystery than previous issues. Because Henry wants to take control of how we perceive the story, a lot of the dialogue is missing. He redacts and manipulates character interactions in an attempt to make himself look better. Unfortunately, this never really works out in his favor. We still see him as the asshole he is.

Another aspect of this I didn’t expect is learning so much about Arthur Proctor. Although most of the interactions with Proctor are limited, each one is extremely telling. When Jill enters Arthur’s apartment, Arthur always asks “Henry, is that you?” and never recognizes his daughter. But Arthur also does not shy away from being honest, telling the Hero with a Thousand Faces that Henry is a liar and is not to be trusted. This distinction is telling in who Arthur is. Maybe Arthur preferred Henry over his own daughter. Or maybe Arthur thought he could help Henry become a better person. Whatever the reason, Arthur sees the flaws in Henry but still adores him, which speaks volumes as to who Arthur is and why he’s the real hero.

Performative Utterance… Well, Sort of

Of course, this series would not tie together so well without the beautiful art of Andrea Mutti and Vladimir Popov. Mutti’s art emphasizes each character’s importance, showcasing exactly how each character feels at that moment. Popov perfectly complements Mutti’s art by emphasizing the emotion each character is feeling.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces is one of my favorite characters. Within his face, we see reflections of different people within our history. From Tesla to Johann Sebastian Bach, we see many historic faces captured within this one character. But this also illustrates who is considered a hero within the Fearscape. Popov pairs Mutti’s art with magnificent colors that fight for your attention. His coloring emphasizes the energy of each character. In a short two panels, we see Arthur’s face as he contemplates how to answer if Henry is trustworthy. In the first panel, the colors are subdued and calm, showing Arthur thinking of how to respond. But in the next, the background is a strong red, which reflects exactly how serious it is to not trust Henry. It’s absolutely stunning.

The comic would not be complete without the work of Andworld Designs. The speech bubbles from the fears or the Hero with a Thousand Faces stand out, making the reader almost hear their words in a lower tone. It helps to really transport you into the Fearscape itself.

THE FEARSCAPE #4
Image courtesy of Vault Comics

Overall Thoughts on THE FEARSCAPE #4

I’m sad to say that THE FEARSCAPE is coming to an end. But as the series winds down, I’m constantly asking myself, “How will this story wrap up? There are far too many loose ends that I NEED to know.” But that’s the glory of having a great creative team. Ryan O’Sullivan, Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov, and Andworld Designs are sure to give us a finisher that will knock our socks off. THE FEARSCAPE #4 leaves us on a fantastic cliffhanger that you surely won’t want to miss!

Be sure to pick up your copy of THE FEARSCAPE #4 when it drops February 13th! You can always reserve your copy here! No lies, you won’t want to miss this!

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