Waging War On Multiple Fronts In Bone Parish #8

by Brendan M. Allen

New Orleans has become a battle zone as the Ash turf war spills out of the shadows.

Even though this chapter slows up quite a bit, the stakes are getting impossibly high for everyone in Bone Parish #8. Detective Herron faces an impossible decision that no parent would ever want to be up against. She’s being offered an opportunity to connect with her recently departed child, at the cost of her professional integrity. The Winters are desperate, and are starting to take more and more outlandish risks. Billy and his crew make a bold move against the cartel that’s bound to trigger blowback. There are also a couple interesting new players throwing twists.

Cullen Bunn expertly blends elements of crime, horror, noir, and mafia tropes into an incredibly engaging and compelling story. Each aspect builds of all the rest. All the characters, even the one-offs and throwaways are unique, interesting, and memorable. While all the other elements hit, Bunn’s development of the complex relationships within the Winters brood is still my favorite part of this book. The tenuous familial bonds are stretching to their limit. Something’s about to break. 

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 the gore. Those bikers don’t mess around when they’re given an assignment, and they do a real number on a few cartel kids. They have to bring carcasses back to Brigitte for her new project, but hose carcasses apparently don’t have to be in great condition.

Bone Parish hits on multiple levels. Taken individually, each of these elements could easily sell their own stories. Mashed all together like this? Brilliant. If it has to be classified, it’s a crime thriller, right? But those supernatural, horror, and gangster elements shape this thing into an animal that defies classification. Pain, personal loss, growth, loyalty, betrayal, haunted drugs… poetry. Twisted, horrific, hideous poetry.

Bone Parish #8, Boom! Studios, released 27 March 2019. Written by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Jonas Scharf, color by Alex Guimaraes, letters by Ed Dukeshire, cover by Rod Reis, variant cover by Jakub Rebelka.

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