Folklords #5 Review

by Jay Hill on March 26, 2020

Written by: Matt Kindt
Art by: Matt Smith
Colors by: Chris O'Halloran
Lettered by: Jim Campbell
Published by: BOOM! Studios

Once upon a time… a young outsider named Ansel chose to go on a search for the Folklords of legend. On his journey, he ran into unexpected dangers, found unlikely allies, and faced shocking betrayals. But now, he has reached the end of his road. Will he find what he is searching for, or will the answers he's looking for allude him? Either way, this is the end… or is it?

This has been an interesting and subversive narrative so far. This issue adds to both those elements while delivering a great conclusion. The nightmarish ordeal Ansel and his party have found themselves in continues to play out at the start of this issue. That ordeal quickly turns suspenseful when the tables turn on them and they are captured. This leads to Ansel coming face-to-face with an interesting and sinister character. The dialogue in this scene is great and does well to have you immediately hate but also fear this character. It’s in this scene that the answers to many questions start to be revealed. With a narrative like this one, it was always going to hinge on what the “turn” or “twist” behind everything turned out to be. And when everything is finally explained it does not disappoint.

Not only is the makeup of many things revealed, but the implications they have are substantial; the “twist” indicates a deeper lore and the rules of the world become clearer. Once we are made aware of the bigger picture, the issue kicks into a higher gear. Many events start to occur, and the story’s path begins to go down a new road. Without spoiling it, the number of ups-and-downs and highs-and-lows are sure to get the blood pumping. There were so many highlights for me in this issue. The face-off, the return, the Librarian fake-out, Ansel’s song, and the cut. There were just so many scenes that made it clear that this was the issue everything was building to, and the pay off was wonderful. But, the highest highlight, for me and undoubtedly everyone, is the ending. The end is an amazing mirror to the beginning of this series and has some indications that I am completely on board for.

This issue delivered some great visuals. The last issue’s dark labyrinth of tales opens this one with a WWI like setting. The dark shadows that the art does well shines (do shadows shine?) in this scene. The face-off scene is set up to give the full effect of the interaction. The dialogue-heavy scenes are executed to add to the words being said, and the design of the antagonist is great (I have already stated how big a fan I am of Smith’s faces, this one is no different). O'Halloran’s colors, especially with the scenery, pop in the face-off scene also. There’s also a nice BANG! (I love a good BANG or BLAM in a comic) that I couldn’t help from being reminded of another of Kindt’s recent work. That BANG is also above a nice spread of panels where the art and colors are doing a great job of enhancing the suspense. “Enhancing the suspense” is a good phrase for describing what the art team did so well in this entire scene. The art, panel layouts, framing, and use of expressive coloring added so much to this scene and made it feel as climactic as it deserved. There’s a great shot, perhaps my favorite of the issue (or series), of a corridor fight. The scene is displayed large, with no words, and it invokes the movement of the scene, the sound of the struggle and the clattering of weapons; it’s such a compelling visual. The end is full of visuals new to the series and it's a nice change of pace to see the art team handle them. It immediately makes you want to see more of what they could do.

Folklords #5 sticks the landing this series has been building to. The answers in this issue were as interesting as the multiple questions that have been raised in this series. Every twist and turn along the way is made even better knowing it leads to this. This was a near-perfect issue with innumerable great moments. No matter what happens next, I’ll be on board for it. These 5 issues were great and kept me coming back for more, but the revelations of this issue brought my excitement for this series to a new height.

Our Score:


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