Review: Criminal Macabre – The Third Child #4

Along the way with my reviews for this series I said something to the extent of, “where does the story possibly go from here?” The answer is of course a resounding “don’t know, don’t care, I’ll be there for it”, but I find it to be an interesting exercise in storytelling for Niles to be able to tell this powerful of a story. A story with a lot of weight to the world and character and still manage to leave it on a new chapter that looks to be as interesting as everything that’s come before it. This series, as the name implies, is all about “the third child.” SPOILER it’s Cal. It’s something I instantly suspected when the demon babies started doing their “destroy the world” thing. It’s confirmed by Cal and it all builds towards a big final battle between Cal and the babies.

24675There’s nothing else to tell you that isn’t a spoiler, but I will talk about how the final battle plays out which might be a little revealing in its implication. Niles takes a pretty big risk with the events because everything is over and done with in just a few pages. He could have DBZ’d this thing and drawn it out into the next series if he wanted, but instead it’s over faster than it began. At first I was left with that inevitable “that’s it?” feeling, but then it dawned on me… that’s how this series has always been. When Cal finally gets in front of his enemy and has the right tool to put them down, he does so; so why should this be any different? I liked the fact that the series stayed true to the character’s actions and didn’t go for cheap thrills.

Christopher Mitten continues to be my new favorite artist on this series. I still love the way that winged Cal looks and some of the action in this issue is really cool and impressive to see Mitten execute. By far the last few panels of the issue are the most striking and while I can’t talk about them, I can say that they are intentional. It’s not a mistake that you’re seeing what you’re seeing.

For me personally I’m very happy with how this series turned out. I think it’s been one of the strongest of the series yet and it leaves the series in an interesting location. This might not be the best introduction of the world, but I have a feeling Niles will be giving new and lapsed readers a great spot next time as a result of this issue.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Steve Niles Artist: Christopher Mitten Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/17/14 Format: Mini-Series (of 4); Print/Digital