451 Media: Sunflower: Issue 5 Review

     Ten years after CJ's husband was murdered and her daughter went missing, she received a postcard with a single word on it in her daughter's own handwriting- Sunflower.  Her beloved child's nickname.

     Now CJ is fueled by a determination known only to parents that have lost their children and she's desperately fought her way towards some answers.  She walked through a terrible desert and accepted the mark of Anubis as a full back tattoo and despite the locals warning her, she confronted the man that started this all a decade ago.  Upon meeting him, Rush Bridge confirmed that her daughter is alive, then had his crazed disciples beat her and leave her for dead.

     The penultimate issue takes CJ's pursuit, and the series itself, to a whole new level.  In the last issue she sacrificed her body to gain entrance into a cult and now she finds herself in the borderlands between life and death- she's found her way into the realm of ancient Egyptian deities.
     Given strength by the knowledge that her daughter is indeed alive, she pushes hard and will not stop until she's found her.  She comes face to face with those she left behind and becomes something much more as she fights the darkness that resides in every last one of us.  CJ has passed through the underworld and returned with the sole intent of getting her daughter back, no matter what the cost.  She has been reborn, ready to face Rush Bridge and take back what is hers.

     What writers Mark Mallouk and Andi Ewington have done here is take a kind of True Detective crime story and add an element of the supernatural to great effect.  They've given it a grounded feel that isn't absurd, but instead, quite believable.  It has done a wonderful job of making it fit into the mystery and make the story so much greater than it already was, without pushing the mythical aspects into implausibility.  We readers can now see why Rush's cult has so many followers.

     Lee Carter's art once again proves to be a brilliant handling of the material.  An image of Sunflower is seen in the cover, the face of Anubis can be seen in the water's current, and the goddess Nut stretches herself across the night sky to protect the Earth.  These things are fantastical in nature, but are given a type of visually convincing truth that fits perfectly into the life CJ is fighting through.

     Issue 5 may be a metaphysical journey, but it holds no less impact than the last four have.  It maintains every bit as much a compelling tale as each of the other issues have, propelling the story forward, and this issue cements CJ's will to survive and press on because she knows her daughter is within reach.  Sunflower's newest issue is another extraordinary step in an outstanding mystery/crime series and I absolutely cannot wait for the finale to arrive.

     Sunflower 5 hits the stands May 18th.

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*Review copy provided by 451 Media, Thank you!

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