Fairytale Heart Of Darkness: Sparrowhawk #3 Reviewed

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Artemisia corners a large beast that preys upon the fairies of the Fae. It is a predator, but it is also on the run from the Wild Hunt. Artemisia spares it to escape the Wild Hunt, as she, Warren, and Crispin need to flee the Hunt as well. All four hide in ruins, but the Wild Hunt are able to locate the large beast with ease. Artemisia doesn’t want to let the creature die, and Crispin gives her an idea of how to stop the Hunt.

Sparrowhawk #3 cover by Miguel Mercado
Sparrowhawk #3 cover by Miguel Mercado

Sparrowhawk #3 represents a turning point for Artemisia and her newfound allies. She has grown affection for Warren and warily trusts Crispin, but both creatures have their own agendas that may stray from Artemisia’s, Warren being a pacifist and Crispin being somewhat bloodthirsty.

Warren is far more compassionate than Crispin, obviously, but his pacifism may keep Artemisia from getting home.

There’s a strange twist that also shows that Art may have a grand advantage over the Unseelie and other creatures in the Fae. Continuing with the colonialism metaphor insinuated in the past issues, it may as well be advanced weaponry. Between that and spotty memory creating stream-of-conscience sections, there are definitely some comparisons to be made with Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness too. All of this is to say that Art is quickly becoming the cruel invader pillaging and exploiting a foreign land whether or not she initially intended to be so.

Sparrowhawk #3 art by Matias Basla, Rebecca Nalty, and letterer Jim Campbell
Sparrowhawk #3 art by Matias Basla, Rebecca Nalty, and letterer Jim Campbell

Matias Basla continues to provide a gorgeous dreamlike style that leaves the Fae as one of the more creative new worlds I’ve seen in comics this year. The design of the Wild Hunt is especially impressive, and Artemisia’s transformations are both beautiful and unnerving. Rebecca Nalty’s color work is damn good too, giving this world a strange and wonderful color palette.

Sparrowhawk #3 continues to deepen and darken its fairytale story of a girl far from home. It wants you to question everything you see, read, and think you know about the story. Everyone has suspect motives, and you’re left unsure if Artemisia will be able to ever escape the Fae. This one is worth a recommendation. Check it out.

Sparrowhawk #3 comes to us from writer Delilah S. Dawson, artist Matias Basla, color artist Rebecca Nalty, letterer Jim Campbell, and cover artist Miguel Mercado.

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