Published on February 8th, 2017 | by Dana Folkard
ETHER #4 REVIEW
Summary: A child's adventure with a dark twist.
Something sinister is brewing!
It’s only natural for children to be curious and inquisitive about the world around them. Magical tales of adventure, mystical faerie-tales and enchanting quests filled with magic and sorcery will always captivate the mind of a child. However, what if a child was to experience a world like this firsthand? It just may not be the happy ending they were hoping for.
In this issue of Ether, we discover the story of Hazel, Boone’s former lover. This is a retrospective story, told in first person by Hazel as a grown woman. She is reflecting on when she was a twelve-year old and how she used to love spending warm balmy summers at her Gran’s house in the country and how much she adored being there with her. As a child, she only has feel good memories, all fuelled by the love of her Gran’s magical faerie-tales of adventure and her unique library filled with mysterious books. Hazel reflects on one summer, the last summer at her Gran’s where her curiosity takes her on her own scary adventure. Filled with regret and remorse over entering an unknown portal, Hazel reflects on her life and where it has led her to today. She discovered the hard way that where there is light, there will also be darkness.
This is a somewhat sad and tender issue of Ether, as we explore a side of the Ether through the eyes of a curious child. Matt Kindt has given Hazel an adventurous and bold outlook on life, and as a curious girl she takes the risk to step into the unknown. It’s easy for one to become swept up in the excitement of a new adventure and this rings true with Hazel. Bold, audacious and somewhat reckless, she blindly steps through the portal, with only the knowledge of the Ether from her Gran. I’m curious about Hazel, as there is something about her that’s a bit special. Kindt alluded to it but has yet to reveal just exactly what that may be, so for the time being, we have to come up with our own conclusions.
David Rubin’s art is playful and innocent. You really get the sense of a child’s innocent curiosity and how the unknown can seem so magical and awe filled. I love Rubin’s ability to create a truly unique magical realm and the otherworldly nature of the Ether is simple and inventive. There is a whimsical and fun quality about Rubin’s art and I always enjoy venturing into his visual narratives. Rubin also captures a sense of fluidity and movement that we see during the action scenes with Boone. It’s fast-paced, exciting and a reminder that even though things may look sweet and childlike, there is a dark side to this story. The colouring reinforces the otherworldly nature of the Ether. The unusual placement of colours helps to capture that sense of awe and wonderment. Everything appears to be bathed in a warm glow, which heightens the uncanny nature of this story.
Overall, I enjoyed Ether #4. It was nice to deviate a little from Boone and Glum’s story for a moment and explore more of Hazel’s. I’m curious about a few things, one being the villain in this story, Ubel. Every good story needs a balance of good and bad and it appears like we are just starting to scratch the surface of this. I’m looking forward to learning more about these character’s backstories and discovering why they are important.
I’m giving this issue 4 out of 5 stars!
Title: Ether #4
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Creative Team: Matt Kindt, David Rubin
Reviewer: Dana Folkard