Written by Ray Fawkes
Art by Ray Fawkes and Steve Wands
Published by Image Comics
Released October 25, 2017

“A good maze makes it tough to tell which way,” one of our new cast says a few pages into this issue. And that is a good metaphor for the tale.

Back just in time for Halloween, Ray Fawkes’ Underwinter kicks off a new arc with mystery, hints of horror, and some of the most beautiful art you are going to see on a comic shelf.

We are teased with a few threads of story with no immediate connective tissue. A father taking his two children on the road (with hints they are running to, or from, something). A house full of birds and music. And a woman reporting in on a mysterious undercover job.

Portent is the word of the day for this issue. There is an edge to every fragment.

Painting in watercolor, Fawkes continues to refine the style he has used on the previous volume of Underwinter and on the criminally overlooked Intersect. Moving away from treating the watercolor more as a coloring tool, Fawkes is now composing a complete watercolor painting every panel and every page. This allows him to use ink as a completely separate art element that jumps off the page when he brings it in.

Wands shows great care in arranging the balloons to keep the flow and let the art breathe. Long tails and good placement help the art evoke emotion.

Fawkes use of color carries so much of the storytelling. Sometimes rendering realistically, other times popping out a character entirely in one dominant tone. Always with care and purpose.

A few pages of story, a lot of pages of intense imagery. And all of it demands you find out more next issue.

The Verdict: 10/10


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