- Writer: Dan Watters
- Artist: Caspar Wijngaard
- Letterer: Jim Campbell
- Publisher: Image Comics
- Release Date: February 10, 2016
This advance review was made possible by series creators Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard who helpfully provided me with a review copy. Honest thoughts and major spoilers follow.
Maybe it’s my inner Floridian, but there’s a lot to love about the opening pages of Limbo #4 where Clay goes up against the Thumb’s pet gator in the middle of the swamp in an all-out fight to the death.
When we last saw Clay in Limbo #3, he was being carted off to an uncertain doom at the hands of the Thumb’s hired snake-spitting henchmen as Sandy watched and then (because she’s perfect), immediately started making plans to rescue him from the Thumb and the mysterious Bridgette.
So the issue ended not on a cliffhanger, but almost with a call to action. We knew that Clay was probably going to get hurt, but expected that Sandy was going to do her best to save the day. Thankfully, Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard continue to blow my expectations out of the sky because Limbo #4 has a whole TON of things I wasn’t expecting as far as the plot went.
First, Clay doesn’t kill the gator. He doesn’t even try. In fact, he has a change of heart and decides not to play into the Thumb’s games or serve himself up on a platter for the bloodthirsty audience to enjoy. In the chaos of a massive gator launching itself into the audience and chowing down, Clay escapes back into the swamp while the Thumb looks on.
Next we get Sandy. Who, if I haven’t stressed this enough, is still perfect. Seriously. Despite how often she’s failing at it, Sandy goes back to her home and tries to make amends with Papa Legba. I love the way that Watters explains the background of sacrifice and Sandy’s religious practices, updating knowledge of the loa while shaping it into something unique to Limbo.
Her monologue about making mixtapes is just out of this world. I’m just old enough that I remember making crappy mixtapes (largely on CD, though) for my friends and let me just say, the struggle was real. I’d spend hours making those mixtapes and I at least had computer programs for some of it. Sandy has to measure each individual member of the loa’s needs and wants and craft the perfect mixtape on a tapedeck.
The slightest skip in a track or an early commercial break can throw off the balance and disrupt communication. On top of that, gods get offended really easily. It’s (relatively) easy to kill an animal and offer up its blood because that’s a one shot “my god is easy to please and possibly a vampire” thing. It’s not so easy to pick out the perfect mix tape for a being that’s powerful enough to boil your brain in your head.
I’m just saying –
But then Sandy finds the mixtape that her customer Marie made for her and well – that works. It’s literally the perfect mix and I love the radiant look of pleasure on Sandy’s face as she listens to it. Like, seriously, it’s my favorite panel in the entire issue.
Now, while we don’t get the big reveal for who or what Bridgette is (although it’s pretty obvious that she’s Mama Brigitte, a death loa and the wife of the terrifying Baron Samedi) we do get a reveal when she rescues him. I still like Bridgette. She’s like the ideal for me and if I hadn’t decided that Sandy was my comic book girlfriend on her first appearance, she’d be it. But as it stands, she’s twisty and her morals are… questionable.
She tells Clay a lot of stuff before she rescues him, but the two things that matter are that she identifies herself as death and she lets Clay know that despite his crimes (and what are those), he doesn’t deserve a death like that.
And then, the Teleshaman comes back into play.
And so does the goat.
Okay, obviously Watters and Wijngaard probably didn’t sit around and go “yeah, we should put that goat back in so that Zina can make obnoxious noises over it” but that’s exactly what I did. Because I’ve been worried about that goat since issue one. Gosh.
After the events of the thoroughly mindboggling second issue, we assumed that the Teleshaman was gone for good. Except, he’s not. Not at all. And he and the adorable goat are all part of Bridgette’s plan to undermine the Thumb’s authority in Dedande City by using Clay.
Seriously, the last few pages of the issue are just as good as the first. They’re also the only parts of the story I’m not spoiling in my review because I think it’s the perfect cliffhanger. It also kind of reinforces Clay’s character and general ridiculousness, which is you know… fun.
I love Limbo #4. I know I really, rarely have anything bad to say about this series but that’s because these dudes just rock. Limbo is a comic I didn’t know I wanted until the first issue was in my hands and I was hooked. This month’s issue, with our look at how Sandy handles her worship and Bridgette starting to lay out the pawns on her playing board, is just a really amazing one and I think that if you’re not reading Limbo, you’re missing out on some quality storytelling and beautiful art.
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