Review: Heavy-Hitting Storytelling & Artwork in LITTLE BIRD #4

FIRST IMPRESSION

Skillful, solemn writing that hits the right emotional beats combines with dynamic artwork in LITTLE BIRD #4, perhaps the story's strongest chapter thus far. Simply awesome work.
Writing
Dialogue
Pencils/Inks
Coloring
Lettering
- Advertisement -

Darcy Van Poelgeest took us into some pretty bleak territory over the previous three issues. With Little Bird #4, though, he manages to up the ante even further, giving us perhaps the darkest chapter yet.

Little Bird, the people of Elder’s Hope, and all the other rebels are either dead or captured. Bishop’s plan to consolidate his power over the land seems nearly complete. And yet, there seems to be unrest within the New Vatican. Bishop needs a miracle to quell the people…and he plans to procure it from Little Bird herself.

The Writing

Little Bird #4 is perhaps the most expository issue of the series yet. Within the book’s first few pages, we discover key information about Little Bird, her origins, and her connection to Gabriel. Van Poelgeest ties the information into the narrative, revealing key points through visions rather than direct address or info dumping.

The titular character has always been shown as a competent and skilled fighter. By this point, though, she’s come into her own as a rebel, managing to escape and locate Gabriel with ease. There’s still vulnerability and dimension to the character, though, making her as compelling as ever. To that point, some of the strongest moments in Little Bird #4 are the quieter, less action-oriented ones. Gabriel and Little Bird conversing and trying to understand and relate to one another is a high point. It adds depth to one character in particular, making that individual much more of a fleshed-out figure.

- Advertisement -

Throughout the book’s first three issues, perhaps the only real weakness is that we see characters enter and leave the narrative before they’re fully-developed. On multiple occasions, we’ve seen characters die, without fully feeling the emotional weight. In Little Bird #4, though, we really do feel the significance of the last few pages.

It’s skillful, solemn writing, hitting the right emotional beats from page to page. This makes for one of the strongest issues in the run so far, and sets us up for the climax in issue #5.

Little Bird #4

Review: Heavy-Hitting Storytelling & Artwork in LITTLE BIRD #4 1

The Artwork

Ian Bertram again turns in excellent illustrations for Little Bird #4. While his work on this issue is a little less expansive in its design, it makes up for that with a level of coherence and cohesion that was present, but not always consistent in previous chapters. Bertram manages to inject plenty of dynamic images into the work, while maintaining an even flow between panels. The reader always feels grounded in the scene without ever feeling lost.

What Bertram manages to achieve brilliantly in this issue is focusing the reader’s eye on the characters, while still keeping up the imaginative settings in the background. When the work opens up into a large panel that dominates much of the page, it feels that much more impactful.

Matt Hollingsworth’s colors in Little Bird #4 have an integral, symbiotic relationship with Bertram’s illustrations. They’re moody and dark, yet full of life. It’s hard to imagine one without the other. As a bonus, a gallery of the pair’s artwork occupies the last quarter of the book, offering more poster-worthy imagery.

Final Thoughts

Little Bird #4 is another excellent chapter in one of the most original, compelling narratives of the year in comics. Still worth it, so pick it up at your local comic shop on June 19.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Review: DEAD END KIDS #1 Is A Somber Murder Mystery

Dead End Kids #1 is the new book from Source Point Press, written by Frank Gogol, with artwork by Nenad Cviticanin and letters by...

Review: RESONANT #1 A Sensational Way To End The World

Intriguing and exciting in equal measure, Resonant from Vault Comics has plenty to keep a reader engaged. A masterful first issue and a must read.

Review: The Queen Returns with VAMPIRELLA #1

It’s been 50 years since Vampirella first graced the comic page. Now, Dynamite Entertainment reintroduces the fan favorite anti-heroine with Vampirella #1. The story picks...

Review: How INVADERS #7 Is Another Throwback To CIVIL WAR

Invaders #7 succeeds as a callback to Civil War but it's a fairly standard beginning to a new chapter in the series.

Review: THE IMMORTAL HULK #21 Explores The History Of General Fortean

James Fortean, much like his mentor General Thunderbolt Ross, would like nothing more than to destroy both Bruce Banner and the Hulk. So much...

Review: GIDEON FALLS #15 Andrea Sorrentino’s Art Will Give You Nightmares

Gideon Fall #15 from Image Comics hits your local comic book store today; written by Jeff Lemire, with art by Andrea Sorrentino, colors by...

Hickman’s X-MEN Relaunch: Six Titles Coming Out This Fall

With just days until HOUSE OF X #1 hits store shelves, Marvel announced six brand-new ongoing series with a suite of all-star creative teams...

Review: UNEARTH #1 – Plunging Into a New Horror Series

Something is clearly not right in the small Mexican town of Mitlán Itzá as Unearth #1 sets the stage for a twisted blend of...
Avatar
David DeCorte
David DeCorte covers comic book, entertainment, pop culture, and business news for multiple outlets. He is also a sci-fi writer, and is currently working on his first full-length book. Originally from San Diego, he now lives in Tampa.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Not to take anything away from this well written and thoughtful piece, and it may have been a typo, but Darcy Van Poelgeest is a guy

    • Hi Jack,

      Yes, that was a typo. Thanks for bringing it to our attention so we could make the correction!

Comments are closed.

COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!