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"Road of Bones #3" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by IDW Publishing

Road Of Bones 3 00

Written by Rich Douek
Illustrated by Alex Cormack
Lettered by Justin Birch
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 17th, 2019

Review:

Three men have escaped from a harsh Russian prison only to find themselves in an even harsher winter climate. They may have started as a trio, but it's getting more and more likely that they'll finish this journey as a duo or even a solo act. As time goes on, they're getting more and more desperate. Food is running low and tension is riding high. That's a frightening combination, especially when they could easily get away with murder out in this snowy mountains.

Road of Bones #3 has one of the best opening sequences I've seen all year. It is an impactful and chilling few pages that's made even more so by what you're not seeing. We get images of a frightened man interspersed with explosions of blood and horrifying sound effects. Artist Alex Cormack has already proven himself capable of delivering some of the most gory scenes ever put to page, but he's outdone himself in this issue. As the story continues, we zoom in closer on the terrified face of the man, along with close-ups of an increasingly bloodier fist. It's a powerful combination that is sure to send a shiver down your spine...and that's just the first page.

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Cormack douses the page in blood, to the point where you might want to check if your comic is literally dripping. The crimson presents a startling contrast against the unforgiving white of the snow. It draws your eye while setting you on edge. That feeling only intensifies as more and more blood is spilled.

Everything I've mentioned so far has to do with the three men on the run. There's still a very real monster lurking in the shadows since one of them has been paying tribute to it along the way. That's one of the reasons they're low on food. You have to wonder how this experience would have been if they kept it all for themselves and didn't share. Would they be dead already? Would that have done away with all this tension?

You can see how this isolation and desperation is getting to the men. There’s a crazed look in their eyes, showing you they are capable of doing anything right now. They're past the breaking point. This is what makes Road of Bones such a white-knuckle read. Writer Rich Douek paces this issue beautifully, never giving you a chance to catch your breath. Sure, there are scenes where the action is a little lighter, but you can't escape this feeling of dread that's permeated through every page.

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Click images to enlarge

Letterer Justin Birch guides us through this madness with simple yet strong word balloons. The expert placement of these allows for each piece of dialogue to carry some additional weight. No one is waxing poetic here. The conversations are short and terse, yet they speak volumes as to the figurative distance between these three men.

Road of Bones does a lot with a little. There are no jump scares or other cheesy tactics you see in horror movies. This is the kind of terror that gets under your skin, giving you an uneasy feeling that will stay with you for some time. It will freak you right out.

Grades:

Story: Fivestars Road Of Bones 3 Small
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Art: Fivestars
Overall: Fivestars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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