02nd Oct2018

‘Rivers of London: Water Weed #4′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Andrew Cartmel | Art by Lee Sullivan | Published by Titan Comics

Rivers-of-London-Water-Weed-4-Cover-A

So here we are, the final issue of the ‘Water Weed’ arc, and although it has been enjoyable, it has also meandered a little here and there and has not quite offered up as much as it promised. I’ve certainly enjoyed what we did get, but feel there were one or two missed opportunities along the way. The last three issues have essentially boiled down to who, or what, is the Hoodette, and how and why is she selling the extremely potent werelight weed. I did enjoy seeing The Chestnut Tree Pub, though, the friendly local where all magic based souls hang out. Also, coincidentally, the location of the trap where we left Peter and Nightingale last issue…

The trap failed of course, but Peter and Nightingale managed to get word out that two policemen were killed at The Chestnut Tree, just to see what reaction might come. They tied up some loose ends too, dropping in on Goblin girl Lana, who was still recovering but couldn’t help with anything else, and weed delivery guy Joe, who had just been beaten to a pulp and was laid up in hospital. The Hoodette sure believes in covering her tracks, that’s for sure. Joe, though, coughed up a name.

That name was small time drug seller/user Reuel McBeene-Smith, the man taken advantage of by The Hoodette last issue. Turns out there was a good reason for that, as The Hoodette is revealed to be none other than Kitty Butchart, his girlfriend. His glasses wearing, quiet natured, non-tattoo sporting blonde girlfriend. Never saw that coming. Peter, though, is a better detective than me, and when he goes to Reuel’s house to speak with him and meets Kitty, he joins those dots almost immediately. Kitty realises this, and slips into her Hoodette identity and tries to take out Peter. Silly girl. Her knife is no match for Peter’s magic.

So why did Kitty become The Hoodette? As with everything, she started with the best of intentions. Her uncle had been badly injured and needed very expensive and time consuming care, which she devoted herself too. Uncle Jake’s mind, trapped as it was, generated a magical forma, a werelight, that made plants grow very very fast. Like weed. Kitty started selling it to pay the care costs, and invented The Hoodette identity to scare off rivals. She also discovered she liked hurting people too, and one thing led to another. Bad girl doing a good thing.

Well, that explains all that, though an epilogue is always nice to wave goodbye to the story. As Uncle Jake’s werelight cannot be switched off, the weed has been replaced by tomatoes, now a popular seller locally apparently. Organic tomatoes are so passé compared to magic ones, right? Reuel and Goblin girl Lana both lay low, and seemingly got together. And The Hoodette was charged, convicted, and banged up for life….Not. This being real life (in comic book form of course), the Jury saw Kitty, a meek young girl who gave up her life to care for her sick uncle, and who defended herself against some bad people. She got out, no problem. That’s going to end well.

Andrew Cartmel delivered both a nice final issue, and a very nice little twist that I never saw coming. Also, a possibly recurring villain in the psychopathic Hoodette. Although the tone was a little ‘straighter’ than some issues, the first person narration had some great asides and funny asides. Nicely done. Lee Sullivan’s art is so consistent it’s becoming ridiculous. Never a bad page, or panel, just solid layouts, pacing, and storytelling.

This book is impossible not to love, with some of the best writing and art around, and definitely some of the quirkiest storylines and characters to be found anywhere. Love it.

**** 4/5

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