Review – Bone Parish #9 (Boom! Studios)

Bone Parish #9 Explores the Age-Old Adage: Is Blood Thicker Than Water?

Bone Parish is, without a doubt, one of the darker series available right now. But it’s also intricate and surprisingly subtle in the way it handles all of the secondary plots in the series. The Winters family business isn’t new, but it sure does have a unique spin on it. And that’s what keeps it interesting – and part of what makes the series so dark.

Bone Parish #9 was surprising for many reasons, but that just made for a better read. They’re progressing with the story, but the direction is not the obvious one, and I have to respect that. While this series came off as somewhat blunt and brutal (but in a good way), it’s becoming more and more clear that there is so much more going on beneath the surface.

Writing

Bone Parish #9 is quite possibly one of my favorite issues in the series so far. Okay, the top two or three is probably more accurate. The series has started to settle in, and that means we can finally start digging deeper into all the elements already introduced. From the family business to family dynamics, I want to read it all.

Cullen Bunn did a great job with this issue. He wrote the issue so that it bounced back and forth between two points in time. But the reason for the bouncing created a nearly seamless ebb and flow. It was really clever. And, of course, it further added to the intrigue of what was going on.

I absolutely love the twist that was revealed in this issue. It was one of those moments where you just sit there going, ‘wait, did they just say what I think they said?’ That alone is a great find, but then to be able to look back and have it make sense? I couldn’t ask for more.

The secondary plot in this issue helped keep things moving and also provided outlets for more of the graphic elements the series is becoming so well known for. I think it’ll end up becoming something larger in the long run – I do not see any room for wasted storytelling opportunities here.

Art

I’ve enjoyed the art style from Bone Parish since day 1, and with good reason. The series hasn’t been afraid to be graphic when needed – which is a requirement for this plot. It also has a great sense of style. The aesthetics of the style are so appealing and a perfect match for what we’re being told.

Bone Parish #9 had a lot to accomplish here. Jonas Scharf and Alex Guimaraes had to draw two points in time and have them be immediately clear which was which. There was never a point where they flat out informed us that it was a flashback. But it wasn’t needed either.

The grotesque images in this issue were exceptionally well done – they could have fit into any crime drama out there, even with the personal flair and thrown into the mix. The color palette is also worth commenting on – blending darker tones with brighter moments, both matching what was happening at the time. It’s a hard mix, but they managed it here.

Conclusion

Bone Parish #9 managed to up the ante in ways that I did not expect. They’re turning the plot inward, but it’s making everything significantly more complex. The result is a fascinating plot that has plenty of room for exploring – and I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to that moment.

This issue was one of the obligatory setting up issues. They still managed to make it an interesting read and even managed to fit in many of the elements we’ve expected. And it’s all surely going to lead to something bigger and more dramatic. Something I’m personally excited to see.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

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