Review: Dark Corridor #4

The fourth issue of Dark Corridor will feel a little slow to some, despite the thrilling and creatively presented car chase. The recurring synopsis of my reviews of Dark Corridor  pretty much remains the same: the plot feels a little slow, partly because of the attention split between the two parallel stories, but Tommaso fills this book with unique little formal flourishes.  I can't stress the latter  part enough.  It's not just that Tommaso is constantly playing tricks with how he tells a story on the page.  What's impressive is that the tricks are always different.  He rarely leans on the same trick multiple times across issues, and even once he's messed around with us within an issue, he's not repetitive.

Dark-Corridor-#4In this issue, the main story focused on a car chase, and if you read my review of Dark Corridor #1 then you know I was absolutely thrilled: Tommaso's cars have an incredible amount of personality, probably as much as any of his characters do on the page.  If Tommaso came out and said that he drew this time period simply as an excuse to fill it with these particular vehicles, I wouldn't be surprised at all.  The car chase is especially thrilling because Tommaso makes use of the sounds of the car chase to frame the action, often in very unorthodox and interesting ways.

The transition to the “Seven Deadly Daughters” storyline is especially effective because Tommaso goes from a caption and dialog-light car chase sequence to a very caption heavy series of splash pages featuring the assassins doing their thing.  It adds an interesting dimension to the story being told in Red Circle, as well as underscoring the strong current of pulp at the heart of this title.

Telling the stories in parallel  like this sometimes makes each story feel truncated.  Tommaso in this issue, for instance, sort of foregoes a cliffhanger in order to get both stories in.  It also limits the pace at which we find out about any given character.  While this is a useful way to keep people interested, sometimes it feels a little too fragmented.  To be fair, the action and the visuals are the main reasons to read this comic, and I think the character work generally takes care of itself.  In other words, there's not a lot you need to understand about a hitman or seven women going around killing mobsters to appreciate them.

Score: 4/5

Dark Corridor #4 Writer/Artist: Rich Tommaso Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/4/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital