The weird and wonderful world of Mythic, where science is a lie and all the myths and legends of the ancients are what actually make the universe tick, continues in issue number four with half the issue dedicated to the main storyline, and half the issue dedicated to a character, Dr. Baranski, who has been featured in approximately half a dozen panels. While there is plenty of action and a resolution to the battle against the worm begun in issue three, the main story doesn’t progress very far. The brief origins story for Dr. Baranski, while entertaining, doesn’t seem to have much to do with the plot.
The book begins with Mythic Field Team Eight’s Nate and Cass in the middle of a fight against a massive worm that ambushed them while they were investigating a problem with Pasture Dwarves. The Dwarves attack the worm, but don’t last very long, while Nate and Cass run away avoiding the occasional cow flung at them by the giant invertebrate. Not to give too much away, Nate has an idea about what’s controlling the worm and manages to destroy it just as the rest of Field Team Eight shows up. The action is fast and furious, but the plot doesn’t go very far in this issue. The second half of the issue is dedicated to the origins of Dr. Devorah Baranski, the Skeptical Spirit. Baranski, a perfectionist, skeptic, and workaholic, dies while working in her lab, and passes into the afterlife. Since she is a hardcore skeptic she isn’t convinced of her death or of the various realms – from Hell to Sheol to Samsara – her soul could reside in. After Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead, can’t convince her of her state he calls in the deity on duty, Jesus Christ, who calls Asha and gets Baranski recruited by Mythic. Again, this doesn’t do much to move the main story, but it is an entertaining aside.
Hester’s scripts typically move at a rapid pace, and issue number four is no exception. The 12 pages dedicated to the main plot are fast and full of action. Baranski’s origin story is well thought out, gives good insight into the character, and also progresses smoothly and with plenty of action of a different sort. Likewise, McCrea’s art is excellent as usual, with his mastery of the grotesque on display throughout the book. Pages nine and ten, where the worm is being destroyed, showcases his work nicely, as does Baranski’s trip through the underworld on pages 16 through 18 and her encounter with Anubis on pages 19 and 20.
Even though the plot doesn’t go very far in this issue, Mythic number four still delivers the goods. The first half, the worm fight, is full of action, and Baranski’s story is quite entertaining if nothing else. Baranski’s story – which explores the idea of what does one believe in if one believes in nothing at all, has both a touch of humor and no small amount of melancholy woven into it – actually elevates this book which would have been nothing but one long action scene without it. In short, while issue number four is a nice deviation from the norm, one must hope that Hester gets back to progressing the main story in the following issues.