ADVANCE REVIEW: I'm a little confused by Adventureman #4.

Adventureman #4, Written by Matt Fraction, Pencils and colours by Terry Dodson, Inks by Rachel Dodson, Letters by Clayton Cowles.

After discovering that she has grown in both height and width Claire looks for answers. She tracks down the Adventureman headquarters, and talks to Gentleman Jim Royale. Meanwhile, the Baroness Bizarre is trying to tear a hole from her world into Claire’s. With none of the Adventuremen around to stop her, who could step up to the challenge?

We reach the final issue in the first arc “The End and Everything After”. There’s not much I can say that I haven’t already said. The art here is absolutely stunning. It’s a masterpiece, with pencils, colours, and the textures that are on display. The Dodsons have crafted some of the most beautiful artwork around, making Adventureman possibly one of the best books on the stands at the moment.

The story work on show is so good. What Jim tells Claire during a rather emotional outburst is that he is responsible for what happened to the Adventuremen. He’s been carrying the burden for so long with no ability to alter the past or even help the future. They saved the world, but in doing so made everyone forget about them. Which has affected their powers. His only redemption comes through Claire, and it seems like he’s willing to make amends for what happened. As he says "death is only momentary but..."

Despite so much great writing and fantastic artwork on display here, there’s still something that’s off with the pacing. The story is intriguing and a pleasure to read, however the last 2 issues have been slightly slower. It shows that Fraction has a great eye for developing characters, causing the audience to empathise, however this issue lacks the punch in both narrative and action. This is the last issue of the first arc. Going out with a bang and making the reader want to come back for the second is hard but it needs to be done. What we have here is a great set-up for what could be a fantastic second arc, but there’s nothing punchy about this conclusion. I can only describe this as if you watched a film and it ended just before the big end fight. You’re invested and you want to see it through, but the film would come across as unfinished. It’s what we have here. It’s a beautiful world and story that’s been created, but it just feels like it ended too soon.

Unfortunately, I’ve now felt slightly let down by the last few issues. They have both slowed down the pace a little too much for my liking. Even with that in mind, I still love this series. Fraction has developed some quirky yet endearing characters, while the Dodsons have crafted some of the best art I’ve ever seen in a book. (I really can’t compliment this artwork enough). I really hope for an action-packed second arc to make up slightly for the slowing of the series.

Overall, with the trade coming out soon, I would say this is a book worth getting. It still remains one of the books on top of my pile when it comes out. Despite my concerns, I’m still really excited to see where it goes from here.

Adventureman issue #4 is released on 7th October from your local comic shop as well as comixology

Adventureman Trade Vol 1 “The End and Everything After” is available on 25th November from your local comic shop and comixology

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