Sunflower took me by surprise in the best possible way. Over the course of four issues this thriller becomes deeply emotional as a mother searches for her daughter that was thought to be dead. While that doesn’t sound all that original, she’s going up against a man that has become a living boogey man of sorts. After receiving a post card that she swears if from her daughter our main character CJ grabs her stuff and leaves her house for the first time in years. She begins trying to track down Rush Bridges, the man responsible for her husband’s death and the supposed death of her daughter. We learn as CJ pulls out newspaper clippings that Rush was let go from a lack of evidence and so a conviction never happened.
What’s particularly interesting is when she heads to the town that Rush lives by and no one will talk to her about him. In fact, people tell her she should leave because mentioning him brings him. This lore around Rush continues to build and people have a genuine fear of him, even law enforcement officers. This doesn’t stop CJ as she continues to ask and get slight leads like some info left by the original officer on her husband and daughter’s case.
The question becomes, is CJ’s daughter Sunflower still alive? The answer to that question arrives in issue four, but it’s not quite the answer you’d expect. The post card is the really interesting part of this story because it kicks everything off, but it doesn’t give us any info about who sent it or why. CJ questions that, but just barely. Her focus is so narrow that her judgement starts to get impaired as the story goes on.
We don’t actually know a lot about CJ other than the losses she’s suffered, but do get to know her as the story goes on. We learn about her on an emotional level and you really can’t blame her for throwing caution into the wind at the possibility of finding her daughter. Especially when we see how she’s living, she really has nothing else to loose. The other great part of the writing is lore around Rush Bridges. There is a strong sensation of danger when he’s brought up in the story. You almost get a chill at the mention of his name and it leaves you feeling more inclined to side with the townspeople than CJ.
The art is very detailed and photorealistic. It reminds me of Peter Krause’s style, but with better illustrations for the cars and trucks. The vehicles give it a small town feel which is an important part of the setting and story atmosphere. CJ wears a hat low on her face and we rarely see her full face which was an interesting choice as it gives us some insight into her personality. We begin to see more and more of her face and personality as the story goes on and a lot of that is visual. The coloring is very rustic looking. This book looks like it’s “country” through and through which is where the story takes place. Coloring gives this series a unique look for sure.
My one regret is discovering this series so late. I was hooked after the first issue and the series didn’t let up with the next three. With the way fourth issue concludes the story is left in a curious spot with only two issues to wrap everything up. I’ll be there to check it out.
Score: 4/5 (All four issues)
Writer: Mark Mollouk Adapted by: Andi Ewington Artist: Lee Carter Publisher: 451 Media Price: $3.99 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital