All Out Gang War On The Horizon In Bone Parish #5

by Brendan M. Allen

The war between the Winters and the Cartel continues its bloody rampage. With the terrible power of the Ash behind them, the Winters stand a decent chance. But Ash is not without its dangers, and some of them are already falling to Ash Madness…

Cracks are starting to form in Bone Parish #5. Wade’s death is taking its toll, driving a wedge between the remaining Winters siblings. Ironically, the loss of a son may be just what Grace needed to finally move on from the numbing pain of losing Andre. What seems like a lull in the action is anything but, as forces mobilize against the family and a shocking heel turn sets up the second arc. 

Though the Cartel struck first, they’re obviously going to want retribution for the blood spilled in the Winters’ answer. That sleazy Mafia capo Simon? His boss Mr. Gregori (The Man Upstairs) wants some answers as to why he doesn’t yet own the hottest new street level addiction in the Big Easy since Fentanyl. As if that weren’t enough, there’s a third faction that rears up in chapter five that is uniquely positioned to inflict some serious hurt on the Winters. Did I mention Ash Madness? Oh, yeah. The drug has an apparently cumulative effect of driving the user absolutely batshit, using their hyper-real enhanced fantasies against them.

Still the strongest part of Bone Parish is Cullen Bunn’s development of the complex familial relationships within the Winters brood. Grace’s dependence on Andre, the rivalry between Brae and Brigitte, Leon’s need to protect Grace… These are the angles that drive this necromantic crime horror story. At its heart, Bone Parish is a story about family and personal loss, and that’s what makes it work so well.

There isn’t a lot of actual Ash tripping in this installment, but the art team of  Jonas Scharf and Alex Guimaraes still get to play around quite a bit with settings and mood. As the lines begin to blur between drug addled fantasy and reality, between past and present, their aesthetics and palettes also start to cross over.

This is an important chapter, but not a great jumping on point. You really need the context of the previous chapters to know what’s going down here. Great news, though! In a brilliant move by Boom! Studios, the first four issues are already collected in trade, so if you haven’t been tracking, no worries! You can grab Bone Parish Vol. 1 and Bone Parish #5 at your LCS to get completely caught up on one of the best new series of 2018.
Bone Parish #5, Boom! Studios, released 26 December 2018. Written by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Jonas Scharf, color by Alex Guimaraes, letters by Ed Dukeshire, cover by Lee Garbett, unlocked retailer variant by Tyler Crook.

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