As we reach the end of the current story arc, Chastity switches writers and adds a lot of narration and internal monologue in an otherwise action-filled issue full of fun fight sequences.
In the beginning, the story had Chastity captured by Vampire traffickers and placed on a boat with other women. Then the team breaks out and starts killing the vampires in an attempt to escape. After issue three, She turns the other women into half vampires as a last resort. This issue picks up from there as we find the vampires working with werewolves. As the girls fight for survival, we get conflict about Chastity’s decision to not immediately turn the girls. We also get the development of introducing the main villain, and see the girls coping with what they’ve become in their own ways.
As Chastity fights through mobs of armed enemies, she looks at the girls and gives us narration on the state of the girls, rather than showing us and using character dialogue to paint the situation. This is a drawback because as a visual medium, it’s sometimes better to show rather than tell, and in a number of the pages, we can see what is being described. Unfortunately, the author, Erik Burnham, decided to include a large amount of text boxes to describe events that Daniel Maine made clear in the art. The art in this issue speaks volumes about what’s going on, and yet the new author decided it’s better to start with a quick recap in the first two pages, followed by large amounts of internal dialogue to explain in detail, what we’re watching. This felt taxing and lazy, considering we could pick out a number of details from the character interactions and art within the issue, without needing the internal monologue or narration.
Another aspect of this issue was the change in authors. In the first three issues, Dynamite had Leah Williams (Gwenpool Strikes Back, The Amazing Mary Jane) write the series, but now we have a new author penning the series. On Dynamite’s website it still shows the cover of issue four with William’s name, but when this issue came out last week, the series had someone else involved. Compared to Williams style, Burnham’s heavy use of text box and narration made for a weaker element of the series compared to William’s work in the first three issues. I’m hopeful that we either get Williams back or Burnham focuses more on character dialogue than internal narration and monologues.
While the writing changed, alongside the author; Daniel Maine delivers multiple panels of fun action sequences that tied the whole issue together. Within the first few pages, Maine gives a wide shot of Chastity and the girls using their vampire powers to tear enemies apart. We also get some half page spreads later on of werewolves chasing after the girls, and smaller panels of characters getting their heads cut off. The graphic nature of these panels and poses of the girls and wolves in combat made for exciting art and developments.
As a whole, I loved the art and how it told the story at times, whereas the narration felt overused and only described things that the art showed us. The overuse of text boxes and monologues and narration took me out of this issue and felt overused and unnecessary. In previous issues we didn’t have to deal with as much. As for the art, it told most of the story and gave us important emotional elements from various characters in the issue. While sometimes taxing with the use of narration, the art saves the issue and makes the issue stand out more.