I just got my hands on Volume Four today, and have only just begun reading it. This thread is dedicated to my thoughts and experience while reading through it, as well as serving as a formal review.
Chapter 10: Throat of Stone
I started and finished this chapter today, crawling very slowly through it in order to make the most out of this new volume, having been waiting a year for this moment. Let me start off by saying: I was not disappointed.
Scene One: Troika headquarters
The story thrusts us into a place we’ve been yearning to see more of since volume 3: The Troika headquarters. I was a bit surprised, actually, so see that it was so close to the surface. I was always under the impression that it was further below ground. That being said, the lighting was absolutely breathtaking. I was enthralled with the little details like the bunk beds, lockers, and rock formations. I was very pleased to see, reading further, that we got to catch up with familiar characters like Vi and the Ex-Tower Guard Trio. Dave’s art style is so refined and clear, it really was quite something to see all my favorite characters again. The dialogue was spectacular. We get to see the tight bond between Bill, Woods, and Damon, and I really loved the fleshing out of the characters this way. Shortly following, we’re introduced to the newest member of the group: Rumour. While I’m still a bit apprehensive that he won’t be a three dimensional character due to his lack of speech, I still am very interested in him. As of now, it looks like he’s the engineer type, next to Scinter. We see him crafting Sparkers (incendiary bombs) with Karo, preparing for the mission. I was very interested to see Vi wielding a springer machine gun, as I wasn’t aware they existed. Up until now, the only springers we get to see were semi-automatic. Another interesting feature we got to see was Flo wood being used as a lift, which hints that it could come into play crafting much more valuable things later.
Scene Two: Police HQ
This has been something I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. Ever since Safety Troopers were introduced, I’ve been dying to see the interworking of the group. As we’re introduced to Commander Cal, we get a glimpse of an office-esq room with what could be dispatchers. Judging from the simple badges, I think that they’re the lower police unit. After this, we’re introduced to Sir Haeginsworth and Attorney General Antioch. We got to see Sir Haeginsworth in volume 3, although it was a cameo, and almost hidden away in the background. If you had caught this, you would have known that he was evil already, although this fact is established quite early on in volume four. I can say as of now that Cal is one of my favorite characters so far; a man doing his job. I absolutely love his design, Dave’s inspiration being a Tasmanian Tiger. It’s revealed that the Neon Knives members that were apprehended the day before were released by the two Dark Dreamkeepers, them being in league with Nabonidus.
Scene Three: Lilith and Namah
This scene is relatively short, but we do get reunited with Lilith and Namah, who are preparing for their decent to the archives. We finally get to see Namah using her horns for something useful (picking locks), and I loved how Dave utilized the character for the task. I was curious as to why the bathroom signs and the fire escape sign were human stick figures instead of a more Dreamkeeper-y silhouette.
Scene Four: Mace and Bast
This was an excellent scene. I was very pleased to see Bast so early on, him being one of my favorite characters. We find out how they’re going to get into the caverns, and I thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue between the two. I suspect that Bast will drop his tough guy front relatively soon, as Mace tries pretty hard to make amends. As they descend the steps, I was very excited to see the little boy with the toy that was featured in some promotional art offering his toy to Wisp. I love the amount of detail that Dave put into his background characters in the transport scene on the way to the tower. They each have their own expression and design, which really makes you feel like this place is alive.
Scene Five: The Caverns
Wow. Dave drew the caverns in such a way that I was utterly speechless. The lighting, rock formations, and detail were so spot on. I loved reading every bit of this scene. We finally get to see the gang reunited as they try to find the entrance to the caves.
Scene Six: Tinsel and Nabonidus
I was laughing the whole way through this scene. Dave didn’t disappoint with his satirical view on politics with campaign slogans like “The other guy is EVIL”, and “Vote for Calah or you’re UNETHICAL”. When we were introduced to “Naresh” I was instantly struck with a flashback of Steve the mysterious white-eyed-orphan. You can imagine how I felt when transformed into Nabonidus. This scene finally puts down that mystery, and we can safely say that Steve- who appeared in volume one- was, in fact, Nabonidus. I was very interested to see that Nabby was planning to have Tinsel captured on purpose, and I do wonder how that will come into play later as the Troika come to complete their mission.
Scene Seven: The Docks
This scene was both horrible and amazing. We get to catch up with Randy, the most hated person in the entire GNS (according to me). The thing is- Randy is actually likable here. I was so taken aback when I saw him. Dave changed how he drew him: made his edges less harsh, and his eyes more round, giving him a more likable appearance. I really felt for him as he begged the orphans not to go (Although I know that he’s probably just manipulating them). I was also surprised by how I felt about Wisp. She was very likable in the first scene we get to see her in. I felt bad for her for the first time, for her house collapsing. I also loved the ending, when Wisp tells Randy that he will awaken his power.
Final Thoughts on Chapter Ten
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this chapter. It was a welcome addition to the GNS and really made me excited about the story all over again. I can't wait to read the rest!
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