See What Truly Hides In The Dark: Reviewing ‘Gideon Falls Vol. 4- The Pentoculus’

by Brendan M. Allen

The smash-hit horror series continues! After the time- and space-shifting journey of the last arc, Norton and Clara are trapped in small-town Gideon Falls with a murderous psychopath. Meanwhile, Angie and Father Fred confront the Bishop in big-city Gideon Falls, where the secrets of the Pentoculus Machine are revealed in all their mind-twisting glory. In the midst of the chaos, what will happen when the Ploughmen finally answer the call of duty?

The good doctor’s having some trouble in Gideon Falls Volume 4 TP. Whatever it is about Danny/Norton that makes him a viable key, it’s apparently hereditary. While the kids wait at bedside, Doc is fighting not only for his own life, but for the fate of everyone he has ever known and loved. Probably his sanity, too, but that may have already cracked just a teeny bit. 

Meanwhile, Father Fred and Angie are trying to sort things back at Danny/Norton’s apartment, and they’re about to meet up with someone from the good Padre’s past who (probably) knows more about the whole mess than he’s let on. 

Jeff Lemire keeps piling it on, layer by horrific layer. Danny/Norton and Father Fred have switched dance partners and venues. That seems to set a few things straight, but there’s still a whole lot to unpack here. Somehow, it always feels like this thing’s about to bust wide open, but the answers are maddeningly out of reach. Dead brilliant. 

Andrea Sorrentino and Dave Stewart have developed a visual signature that is pure Gideon Falls. Sorrentino’s unique style sells the frenetic intensity and violence just as well as the eerily quiet moments. There’s this heavy underlying visual tension, which is heightened by Stewart’s color. The general effect is deeply unsettling.

Gideon Falls Volume 4 TP is a masterclass in psychological horror. Every arc of this story seems like it couldn’t go any deeper, couldn’t possibly get more insane. But just when it seems like this whole thing is ready to pop wide open, Lemire and co. throw another twist.

I’ve said many times, and will say again, this is one of the best books currently on the market. Gideon Falls will easily go down as one of the stories that define the current era of horror in comics.

Gideon Falls: Volume 4- The Pentoculus TP, Collects Gideon Falls #17-21, Image Comics, 17 June 2020. Created by Jeff Lemire (script) and Andrea Sorrentino (art), color by Dave Stewart, letters by Steve Wands.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.

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