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"Sweet Heart #4" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Action Lab: Danger Zone

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Written by Dillon Gilbertson
Illustrated by Francesco Iaquinta
Colored by Marco Pagnotta
Lettered by Saida Temofonte
2020, 26 Pages
Comic released on April 22nd, 2020

Review:

Maddie thought she was finally on the path to beating this genetic curse that has plagued her family for generations. A monster is hunting her, all day, every day, waiting for her to slip up so it can consume her. It's chosen her bloodline and it did the same to her father before her. Since she's so focused on this, she didn't see the other danger that was looming.

I'm proud to say that I saw this twist coming in the previous issue of Sweet Heart. It goes to show you that you should always trust your instincts, particularly about strange people you meet in parking lots. The thing is that writer Dillon Gilbertson added the right amount of genuine care to misdirect us, thinking that this might be a ray of sunshine in Maddie's otherwise dreary life.

As with zombie stories, the true danger is not always with the monster, but with the humans surviving. Sweet Heart #4 presents a different take on Maddie's quest. Where she's chosen to confront this terror and fight it tooth and nail, this newcomer has gone a different route, certainly more cowardly, but rather ingenious. Of course, it's not that well thought out and things don't go as planned.

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Click images to enlarge

Colorist Marco Pagnotta frames the real world terror in Sweet Heart #4 perfectly. You immediately understand the danger Maddie is in on its own based on the dark shadows and the solitary light hanging over the conversation. Under normal circumstances, this would be enough to scare the crap out of you, but then it's ratcheted up by the lurking monster ready to strike when Maddie lets her guard down.

Artist Francesco Iaquinta humanizes the actions of this attacker to the point where you almost feel sorry for him. Are his actions horrible and unforgiving? Yes, however you can totally understand where he's coming from and why he's doing it. That makes it all the more chilling. You can see how he's racked his brain trying to figure this out and in desperation, was pushed to this breaking point.

Iaquinta builds the tension incredibly well, first with a captive Maddie and then with the sudden appearance of the monster. These things pop up out of nowhere so they're always a surprise. They'er also seemingly made of muscle and hunger. They represent an unstoppable force that will march through anything and everything in its path to get to its prey.

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Click images to enlarge

Things come to a head in a big and bloody way. Letterer Saida Temofonte adds this small touch to a specific word balloon that shows what a death rattle must sound like. It's absolutely chilling. That detail is great, but the sound effects are even better. They have a jagged, unsettling quality to them that showcases the sound of flesh tearing and bones breaking.

Sweet Heart continues its wild ride of terror with new twists and turns. More importantly, it keeps the overall story moving at a breakneck pace, providing more details and information about this frightening curse that has plagued Maddie's family for generations. At long last, it looks like this young woman may have the upper hand, but can she hold onto it long enough to stop the monster?

Grades:

Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Art: fivestars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
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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