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"Sweet Heart #5" 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, 25 Pages
Comic released on April 29th, 2020

Review:

How can you escape a monster that can't be killed and will hunt you forever, no matter where you run or hide? That's been the unfortunate curse that Maddie has had to live with her entire life, but she's not going to take that sitting down. She's confronted this monster head-on, constantly searching for ways to stop it once and for all...but is she willing to pay the price that comes with that salvation?

Sweet Heart reaches its action-packed conclusion with this issue and it kept me guessing until the very end. Writer Dillon Gilbertson carefully weaved the various aspects of the story together in such a way that I couldn't see a way out of this and then suddenly, it appeared. It is shocking and delivers on all fronts.

While the action is top-notch, it's the family connection that really sells this ending. We've come to know and sympathize with these people in their struggles. Three generations of this family comes together to face this threat. My only qualm with this is that Maddie's mother isn't very defined. There's a solid connection between Maddie and her grandmother (and to us as readers), but the woman in the middle of that family tree line is a bit of an afterthought. This doesn't take away from the high intensity showdown we get with this finale.

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Artist Francesco Iaquinta has outdone himself with Sweet Heart #5. The inhuman and uncaring appearance of the monsters contrasts well with the defiant innocence of Maddie. There are two kinds of beasts here: the skinny, wiry Stringer and the hulking Bruiser. The former is hunting Maddie while the latter is stalking her grandmother. They're both terrifying.

The big showdown happens with bursts of colors that bring the night alive with frightening reds and sickening greens. Colorist Marco Pagnotta did a tremendous job here, blending tones to heighten tension for action while slowing things down for the more somber moments.

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Click images to enlarge

This is amplified by some horrifying sound effects as flesh is torn and bones are broken. Letterer Saida Temofonte uses a scratchy font for these that really stands out. Similarly, the dialogue is delivered in a solid and occasionally intense fashion to add to the energy of the scene.

Sweet Heart is a comic about perseverance, even against insurmountable odds, told through the lens of a creepy monster capable of eating you alive. Throughout all of these obstacles, Maddie found a way to persevere, even when everyone else had written her off. There's a message about hope here that stands out among all the bloodshed and that's a powerful thought. This is a special book, blending genres while delivering a message without banging you over the head with it. It's strong, emotional, terrifying, and so much more.

Grades:

Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK
Art: fourandahalfstars
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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