Cullen Bunn, Writer
Jonas Scharf, Illustrator
Alex Guimaraes, colors
Ed Dukeshire, letters
Previously in Bone Parish, The Winter family criminal organization suffers personal loss but remains in possession of a drug-like substance called Ash. This issue begins, Brae and Leon of the Winter organization seek evidence that leads them to the individuals or groups who sell a different form of Ash. We are introduced to detective Herron and her family after their home is burglarized. She previously lost a son and whose partial remains she stores in a tube. And, officers are shown informing her that her son’s grave sight has been dug up and the coffin is empty.
I enjoy the crime-noire meets mysticism approach that the writer employs in this story. For example, the criminal element involved in producing a chemical that changes its users is cloaked in science and magic. Brigitte, The Winter’s family scientist, and Grace Winters daughter, discovered or created Ash, which appears to bring people back from the dead and maybe much more. There remains a mystery around how Ash works and what the unintended consequences Ash addiction might cause. However, we learn that the rip off versions of the substance caused gruesome abnormalities in the people who used it. This reveal added a layer of gruesome to the story which I really enjoyed.
The art is solid, never detracts from the story, and always puts me in a mental space that fits the direction of the exposition. This is a story which takes place in the shadows, in secret places, with lives at stake. The art reinforces these emotional themes while not getting bogged down in the details.
Overall = 9/10
Cullen Bunn is building a family crime drama with compelling themes and a felt-sense of importance. He masterfully builds intrigue with his unsanctimoniousness treatment of characters whose lives are controlled by a foreign substance and the financial advantages it brings. I highly recommend this story to fans of Collen Bunn and those who love a good mystery.