Ten Thousand Black Feathers #3 REVIEW: the past and present prepare to collide in horrific fashion

Ten Thousand Black Feathers #3. Writer: Jeff Lemire; Artist: Andrea Sorrentino; Colors: Dave Stewart; Letters & Design: Steve Wands; Editbooor: Greg Lockard.

Image Comics' The Bone Orchard Mythos is a mausoleum of horror. Each crypt contains a tale of terror that combines themes of cosmic horror with biting reality in a terrific illumination of the darkened corners of the mind. Ten Thousand Black Feathers, the newest addition to the Bone Orchard's grave proceedings, adheres to this with an almost disconcerting ease. The first two issues serve up horror through everyday fears, magnifying the shadowed anxieties of loneliness and ghosts of regret that root themselves in our minds. Trish and Jackie used to be friends but now Trish is alone. Trish and Jackie once created a new world while creating a new friendship alongside it but now Trish is haunted. The most frightening thing about childhood is that, inevitably, it must end, one way or another. Ten Thousand Black Feathers #3 continues the complex contrast presented by its forbears, delivering a complex portrait of a changing friendship and its darker implications for the present.

Ten Thousand Black Feathers #3 weaves together two stories, one in the past and one in the present. Each narrative boasts a differing storytelling method from the other; Trish's present is filled with empty spaces, isolating her within vast darkness that shows us how alone she feels, with black feathers falling across the panels that hint at more sinister machinations looming. The visual storytelling takes centerstage in the present and rely solely on dynamic panel work and engrossing art to establish emotion and narrative. It's frankly brilliant to see panels echoing forth from Trish, her depth of emotion, fear, and confusion literally resonating across the page. Bleeding red panel lines dissect the pages like veins and push in and out of small moments, making for an intensely intimate - and fearful - read. The pacing in this issue examples a beautiful slow burn that contrasts the past's more volatile and dialogue-polluted presentation.

Trish's past is far more frantic. Bustling imagery, metaphorical color shading, and dialogue aplenty oppose the more bereaved and decelerated present as Trish's past seems to physically catch up to her. Trish and Jackie's growing pains as early adults navigating the world outside their own is detailed so dynamically through their familiar, yet saddening, interactions. Darker shading and less saturated colors inform character perspective while dialogue demonstrates the more raw emotions this creative team excels at incorporating into their work. Both narratives being presented as opposing forces, as they have been since issue 1, insinuates an imminent collision that is tinged with hints of the supernatural. These elements are dropped sparsely, which adds to a growing suspense and unwillingness to be predictable. There are eldritch horrors woven throughout this series that is building towards a pay off that, I'm hoping, will prove to be more than a good read, but a good experience.

Ten Thousand Black Feathers #3 begins to tie together the many threads lain by the previous two issues in a vibrant force of story that dabbles in so many brands of horror I can't help but be universally terrified. Due to that, Ten Thousand Black Feathers #3 gathers a bountiful 5 outta 5 POPs!!!

If you have your doubts, see for yourself at YOUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK SHOP (!!!) or online at Image Comics. Ten Thousand Black Feathers is only a part of a growing horror mythology more awaits with The Bone Orchard Mythos: The Passageway, an abyssal nightmare with a lighthouse at its core. If the more sanity-driven horror strikes you, dive over to Scout Comics for their underrated anthology Provenance of Madness.

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