Wailing Blade #4 Will Leave Your Jaw On The Floor

by James Ferguson

Tychon has gone to great lengths to save his father from execution. He managed to kill the Headtaker, the man who would have…well…taken the head of his dad, then put together an elaborate plan to bust his old man out of prison by impersonating the guy who was going to kill him. Now, in the guise of the Headtaker, he stands face-to-face with another executioner, Bonebreaker, fighting over the right to kill his own father. Needless to say, his life has gotten a bit complicated.

Little has been revealed about these mysterious and massive weapons the executioners use. There’s a nice twist in Wailing Blade #4 that gives us a better idea as to how they work. The sci-fi element comes into play here in a really cool way. We don’t know how or why these space age weapons are in a fantasy land, but we don’t need to in order to enjoy this story.

The Wailing Blade lives up to its name in this issue. Letterer Taylor Esposito creates an overwhelming scream that consumes the artwork. You feel just how frightening that weapon is as it’s swung over and over again. I wanted to cover my ears while reading this chapter because you can feel how loud it must be.

The big action sequence that takes up most of Wailing Blade #4 is truly epic. Artist Joe Mulvey keeps the pages varied with unique layouts and some double page spreads weaved in. Both of these characters are beating the crap out of each other. Even with Tychon’s good intentions, only one of them is walking out of here alive.

These two are shown as titans. They’re basically made out of muscle. You’d need that in order to swing such huge weapons. You can imagine what it must feel like to take even a glancing blow from one of them. Or maybe you don’t want to do that given how much it would hurt.

Colorist Chris Sotomayor adds a red tinge to these sequences as the battle heats up. You can see the bloodlust rising on both sides as their terrifying weapons yearn for violence. The rage felt in the arena contrasts with the looks of shock and awe in the stands.

Writer Rich Douek makes a jaw-dropping turn in this issue that floored me. It’s one of those things where you can start to see where this is going, but you’re begging and pleading for it not to end up that way. This isn’t to say that Wailing Blade got predictable. It’s anything but. It kept me guessing until the very last page.

The full extent of Tychon’s situation sinks in throughout Wailing Blade #4. Here is a man that has been pushed past his limits. He’s in way over his head, but he hasn’t lost sight of his end goal. If he falters in any way, his father is doomed. That drive is integral to the story and it’s what ultimately hits you like a punch to the gut.

This is an end for Wailing Blade, but I certainly hope it’s not the end. We get a nice conclusion that left my jaw on the floor, so I desperately want to see more from these characters and this world. There are other executioners referenced in this issue and I can only imagine what they’re like. There’s still so much left to explore here and we’ve only just scratched the surface.

Wailing Blade #4 from ComixTribe is currently available at your local comic shop.

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