04th Jul2017

‘Royal City #4’ Review

by Dan Clark

Written by Jeff Lemire | Art by Jeff Lemire | Published by Image Comics


It all falls down. The delicate balancing act that has been keeping the fragile lives of each Pike family member aloft comes crashing down. And with his past finally catching up to him, Pat’s sins are revealed, but it may be too late to make amends. The penultimate chapter of ROYAL CITY’s first storyline delivers shocking twists and heartbreaking truths…

What Jeff Lemire has done with Royal City #4 is craft a story that works on a human drama level first and foremost. The supernatural element that permeates in the background adds a lot of intrigue to sweeten the story. Jeff Lemire has made Royal City into this quiet book that is provocative in its approach to death and how it affects us all in different ways. With this issue, we get a story that centers mostly on the sins of Pat.

When Pat was introduced he seemed like the sane one in the family. He was the one person in the family who left his hometown behind for greener pastures. Those greener pastures dried up as his marriage is falling apart and now his career is also suffering. What we find out in this issue is that he may have committed the greatest sins of them all. Those sins did benefit him greatly, but now due to facing yet another failure, the guilt is beginning to seep in.

Considering Pat is also a writer I wonder if Lemire has put a lot of himself into that character. Pat is finding himself lost in this world. An aspect Lemire demonstrates in a simple yet poignant page about the two-sided person he has become. How it is true what they say about trying to go home again and how you end up being this split person. Partially the person people once knew you as and partially as who you have now become. It is that element that gives Royal City much of its intimate feel.

Jeff Lemire may be the most versatile writer in comics today. Outside of the fact that he can both write and draw, speaking of which his watercolor like style in this series continues to be phenomenal.  He can craft stories for multiple companies in a variety of genres. He can make grand space adventure or something much more down to earth like Royal City. Ultimately it is about telling a good story and for Lemire that comes naturally.

****½  4.5/5


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