451 Comics: Sunflower: Issue 4 Review

     A decade of living as a hermit after her husband and daughter were murdered, CJ receives a mysterious postcard in the mail with only a single word written on it: Sunflower.  Her husband's body was found, her daughter's was not.  The perpetrator's were never found, and now this message has arrived on her doorstep with her name on it.  That is how the series, written by Mark Mallouk (and adapted by Andi Ewington), begins.  This new possibility that her daughter might actually still be alive starts CJ on one hell of a journey.

     Now, in the fourth issue, CJ has trekked through some troublesome places, and followed clues relentlessly, to find out where her daughter may be.  What began as a simple murder mystery has transformed into something much more ominous when CJ trails the leads to an Egyptian cult that has the locals fearful, and after initiation they bring her face to face with someone from her past.
     This issue shows exactly how far a determined parent will go to find their child.  Nothing will stop her until she finds the end of the story, and this issue provides a startling revelation on that path.  Nothing will keep her from finding the answers she's looking for.

     Every single issue has left me wanting more.  All the proper mystery/crime staples are here- murder, mystery, intrigue, shady police refusing new evidence on a cold case, and even the hesitant to assist townsfolk.  Each beat of the story is perfectly placed.  Each step is better than the last.  All leading us to an end that we won't want to miss.

     Aside from the awesome story and writing, it'd be foolish not to mention the art.  Sunflower artist Lee Carter has balanced the action with long scenes that give readers a true sense of build up.  It isn't mere run-and-gun non-stop action, though the action that is here is top notch realism with all the grit of modern crime novels.  Scenic vistas are interspersed throughout CJ's journey to give us a real sense of atmosphere and an even more real sense of the world around her.  Some of the landscapes generate a sense of foreboding, some have an eerie loneliness- a beautiful contrast from the bright and welcoming sunny-glow of the sunflower fields surrounding CJ's rural home.  This is undoubtedly what I imagine True Detective would be if it were a comic book.  An irresistible story that draws me ever closer with each issue.

     If you haven't begun reading Sunflower, I cannot recommend it enough.  And not just this series, but all of 451's titles that I've read are damn good.  I've read all the Self Storage, Sunflower, and Six issues* up to date and they are all tremendously well done.  Check them all out.

     Official [ 451 ]

     Previous reviews [ Sunflower & Self Storage ]

*Review copy of Sunflower #4 provided by 451 Media. Thank you and keep up the amazing work!

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