The unlikely small-town detective duo of Father Fred and Sheriff Miller comes face to face with a terrifying killer deep in the back roads of Gideon Falls. Meanwhile, Xu hypnotizes Norton, and they begin to unlock the secrets of his childhood and his uncanny link to the horrifying Black Barn!
Father Fred’s been absolved of murder and is doing his best to settle into his ecclesiastical duties. After finding some hidden files in his quarters, he meets the local conspiracy theorist. Doc Sutton eagerly delivers a lesson about the history of the Black Barn and The Ploughmen, a local secret society centered on burying the Black Barn’s evil influence. Meanwhile, Dr. Xu is getting in way over her head with Norton’s case. She’s getting too close, and has started having disturbing visions of her own.
Jeff Lemire delivers a fantastically nuanced script. The dual narrative doesn’t appear connected much at all in previous chapters, except for the big, creepy, haunted barn thing. Chapter four is the turn. Now, we’re finally seeing some crossover. Subtle at first. Blink and you’ll miss it.
As fantastic as the story is, it wouldn’t play without brilliant artwork. Linework by Andrea Sorrentino is beautifully unsettling and continues evolving with the script. Sorrentino plays around quite a bit with layouts, panels, and gutters, adding additional layers to the story. When Father Fred’s life seemed mostly put together, his panels were mostly square, ordered. Now, they’re all wonky and torqued and starting to look like Norton’s as all hell breaks loose around him.
As Father Fred’s worldview is shattering, Norton is finally getting some validation. They’ll meet somewhere in the middle. Stay tuned.
Gideon Falls #4, published by Image Comics, released on the 20th of June 2018. Written by Jeff Lemire, art and cover by Andrea Sorrentino, color by Dave Stewart, letters by Steve Wands, variant cover by Dustin Nguyen.