Comic Review – Unfollow #4

  • Writer: Rob Williams
  • Art: Michael Dowling
  • Colors: Quinton Winter
  • Letters: Clem Robins
  • Publisher: Vertigo Comics
  • Release Date: February 3, 2016

Last month’s issue of Unfollow put us firmly on Ferrell’s island where the dying billionaire made the weighty suggestion that one person could just come out on top and take all of his money for themselves if they killed the other 138 people around them.

This month, we see the numbers start to drop.

I feel bad for even momentarily doubting Williams and Dowling last month. Despite my weirdly intense misgivings over how they were handling certain characters I felt kinship with, Unfollow #4 blew me right out of the water. This is definitely an issue that sets up the plot in a way that makes it solid, less abstract. I won’t be spoiling that much of it in this review because it’s that good, but there are some significant things about the issue that I’ve been thinking about since I finished reading the issue.

UNFOLLOW #4 cover by Matt Taylor
UNFOLLOW #4 cover by Matt Taylor

First, we see a reminder that humans are kind of well… ridiculous. When faced with the knowledge that the more of their compatriots die, the more that they’ll stand to earn from Ferrell’s billions, they party. Oh boy do they party, moving from dancing to practically having sex on the dance floor. What’s great is that it’s a realistic reaction. When faced with the possibility that someone in the very crowded room you’re in might kill you to make a couple extra millions, most of the characters just shut down. Partying is a coping mechanism for them and it seems to work for everyone except a handful of people.

On a related note: David returns to being my favorite character this issue. Of course, he has to share the top slot with Ravan (yes, that Ravan who we haven’s seen since issue two), but that’s fine. The only other character that comes even close to their awesomeness for me is Akira and he’s still a very distant second. David is one of the people left unamused by Ferrell’s announcement. He goes off wandering through the halls on the tail of that leopard hallucination he’s been seeing and well –-

Let’s just say that next issue I expect to see that our total number of potential billionaires has dropped again.

Ravan is amazing this issue. I love her quiet strength and the way that she hasn’t once been sucked under Ferrell’s spell. She was brought into record the events and the chaos, but that means that she’s already seeing more than what Ferrell wants her to see. What is she going to do with that ability? I don’t know, but I’m so invested in her path that I almost can’t stand it.

Larry Ferrell is also super shady in Unfollow #4. I’m talking Maxwell Lord levels of shady and anyone who’s watching Supergirl right now knows how intense that is. There’s something about him that isn’t right. Like, not even remotely. There’s a conversation that he has with Akira that left me cold because of what it implies for the future of the people he’s brought to his island. And again, we have to wonder: what has to go on in a man’s life for him to want to leave behind a legacy where people will inevitably be killed trying to win his money? What happened to him to make him crave the opportunity to broadcast humanity’s true nature?

I have so many questions and so few answers.

Unfollow #4 ends with a death that probably isn’t as open-ended as you think. As you look at that last page, imagine a camera zooming in on the crowd. In situations like these, the murderer is usually pretty obvious. I have a feeling though, that things aren’t ever going to be as cut and dried as they seem. That sort of uncertainty is jus tone of the things that make Unfollow #4 great and unsettling. What will next month bring? More death? More violence? More middle aged white people humping on a dance floor in an attempt to ignore their impending doom?

I don’t know, but I’m excited!

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About the author

Zina Hutton

writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories.

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