The tale of the Ash comes to a close, not with a bang, but with a Winter.
The best way to end a series? Burn that sucker down. That’s exactly what happens in Bone Parish #12. All those little side conflicts that have been building over the series are finally coming to a head. Leticia’s big plan to take down the Winters brood is in its final, critical stage. Brae’s got blood on his hands, and this time it’s actually his.
Cullen Bunn is well known as a master of horror, and there’s plenty of that here, but it has always been the complex familial relationships that have defined Bone Parish. Tension between siblings. A grieving materfamilias who just can’t let go of the ghost of her late husband. Sure, there are those Mafia capos and lugartenientes jockeying for position and a detective fighting through her own grief to bring them all down, but everything eventually boils down to family and loyalty. The Winters’ actions toward each other will ultimately decide who walks away from this thing, if anyone does at all.
The artwork is stunning, as usual. Jonas Scharf and Alex Guimaraes tackle some challenging issues in this final chapter. The most intense Ash trips to date, an avulsed scalp, mummies, monsters, explosions, and fire. All of it blended together in Bone Parish’ visual signature, that hypnotically beautiful gore that drags you in month after month.
Bone Parish has been a consistently compelling occult noir, with notes of horror, crime procedurals, and mafia tropes. It’s Breaking Bad and Frankenstein. Sopranos and TWD. Hideous and gorgeous, mean and emotional. Family, in the best and worst possible ways. Betrayal and redemption. Also, those haunted drugs.
Bone Parish #12, BOOM! Studios, released 28 August 2019. Written by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Jonas Scharf, color by Alex Guimaraes, letters by Ed Dukeshire, designed by Michelle Ankley, edits by Eric Harburn.