Last issue’s cliffhanger ending made the new issue of John Flood the most anticipated yet. At last, John Flood has come face to face with the mysterious killer, who may or may not have a connection to the people that experimented on Flood and made him the way he is. And just to heighten the intensity of the moment, the very building Flood and the killer find themselves in is being engulfed by an intense wall of flames.
Although this issue is a big moment for Flood to get some answers to the questions he has been asking, it also features some great moments for Berry. Berry so far has been mostly helping Flood as an attachment to his notion of duty as a police officer. However, it has increasingly been built upon that Berry does have some sort of respect for Flood and sees him as more than just a partner. Berry is vocal about his disdain for the way Flood endangers those around him and Flood’s lack of respect for others but there is something connecting the two together that will hopefully be explored. Their friendship isn’t necessarily the most organic representation of the word but there is this feeling that it will be tested upon over the next couple issues.
Justin Jordan tackles the most dialogue heavy script so far with a very tense stare down between Flood and the killer. Though this is the most serious and dramatic issue so far, there are still comedic moments that Jordan has consistently provided in this series. His balancing between drama, action and comedy is well handled (See any Luther Strode series.) and can be attributed to the added expertise of the pencil and colouring work of the rest of the creative team.
The importance of an artist is evident every issue for every comic but becomes that much more heightened when having to illustrate a comedic tone. Sure, the same can be said for the more intimate moments or heavy action sequences, but if the odd awkward facial expressions just don’t match the tone of the lighter, funny dialogue, it can ruin the flow and effectiveness of a book. Just like film, it’s more difficult to nail a comedic tone than it is to project drama.
Jorge Coelho is one such artist that has been doing spectacular work throughout the four issues released of John Flood. Coelho incorporates much tighter, close-up frames for this issue, really evoking a heightened sense of tension and emotion with the confrontation. Seeing a very close frame of the killer from Flood’s perspective is easily the most terrifying image that has graced the pages of this book so far. The killer has felt very distanced from the main characters since the series began, so it becomes extremely effective when utilizing these scenes where a lack of space within the frame really makes these moments that much more intense.
Tamra Bonvillain’s colours are very effective in this issue as she continues to present an array of colours that blend a neo-noir look at times with a balance of greens, oranges, and reds amongst some stark shadowing. The combination of the burning orange flames in the building with the red, demonic layers that cover the killer’s body as he is shown from Flood’s eyes really make it seem like hell has found its way to Earth temporarily.
Ed Dukeshire’s lettering respects the limited space in this issue, placing the word balloons away from the conflicting characters and moments. He continues to knowledgeably spread the dialogue amongst the frames and pages, allowing for a continued flow of action – even when the exposition gets a bit heavier.
The cover of John Flood #4 showcases Coelho’s intensive line work, capturing an image that doesn’t quite make sense until the very last page. The rapid movement, something Coelho does so well, comes full circle and once again leaves quite the image to see before the next issue hits the stands.