When we last left White Ash, Aleck was ready to leave the town, and it’s many secrets behind. Nevermind, the Brood-borne Cuélebre Seth, his dad’s basement armory, or the cute elven princess, Lillian. After the death of his father, and the mutual mistrust between elves and dwarves, Aleck sees nothing worth saving in White Ash.
Issue #5 gives us plenty of reasons why that’s not the case. After stopping by the Double KK service station to say his goodbyes, Aleck discovers a missing Katlyn getting into Seth’s car. He enlists Lillian’s help in tracking them down, hoping to save her from Seth’s insatiable appetite for flesh. By the end of the issue, we’re left wondering exactly what Seth has planned for our heroes, and what other secrets he knows of White Ash’s history.
Writer Charlie Stickney once again proves he knows how to tell a compelling story. While Issue #5 keeps Aleck in town, we get a peek at White Ash from the perspective of Seth. Here we see just how far Alden’s influence stretches, and how the conflicts (and *ahem* unions) extend beyond dwarves and elves. The sequence definitely gives new meaning to the term “road snack.”
Artist and Letterer Conor Hughes expertly shows without showing too much. Divided panels depicting a pair of feuding White Ash residents plays on parallels. I enjoyed how he centered the text between them for visual interest. A bit of toe-curling in another panel allows my imagination to fill in what Stickney has set up. My favorite of the issue is a disembodied leg that’s been thoroughly chewed. His fun, DeCarlo style keeps the shown horror elements playful and light.
While Issue 5 is a setup to a larger confrontation between Aleck, Lillian and Seth, I loved getting to know White Ash and its residents. Even if it did come with Seth’s maniacal singing. Thankfully, there are bonus local ads, as a treat. Plus, us Aleck/Lillian shippers (Lileck? Allian?) were rewarded with the pair back in the saddle, potentially for good.
‘White Ash #5’ is written by Charlie Stickney, with art and letters by Conor Hughes and colors by Fin Cramb. Grab your favorite finger food and sit down with an issue, available on Scout Comics and at your local shops.