Winter City #7 Review

Seven issues in and Winter City continues to impress with its high production values and dedication to storytelling. Although this latest installment represents a rather significant change of pace for the series, and indeed the absence of action was certainly a risk , it doesn't prevent it from being my favorite issue to date. This more emotionally focused story hits all of its marks and proved without a shadow of a doubt that Carl and Patrick Purcell have an impressive writing range.

After the action packed climax of issue six, Winter City #7 acts as a refreshing character piece. As with the previous issues it switches between both the past and present, opening with a young Sam Winters going to church.  Sam, who is aged 12, is understandably nervous about going for the first time but what he finds is a sense of comfort in the Preacher's zealous sermon.

What flows from the Preacher's mouth is nothing less than a fire-and-brimstone extravaganza as he talks of the end of days. This sermon hit me as particularly authentic with its throwbacks to the Book of Revelation and mentions of the angel of death. The mentions of death in particular helping to shed some light on the origins of Sam's 'Reaper' persona.

Pablo Verdugo Munoz works hard to keep the dialogue heavy sections of the issue visually interesting. He pans to the audience at just the right times and masterfully uses panel angles and zoom to create pacing and intensity. And just like that the Winter City creative team turn a Bible bashing sermon into the highlight of the issue.

The remainder of the issue is divided between  what is happening in the present, picking up where issue six left off, and a flash back to Sam as a teenager. Both of these scenes feature dialogue and character development to give us more of a glimpse into who Sam was and who he has become.

Through the flash backs we see Sam as a gentle church going teenager. There is a particularly heart warming scene where he gives his friend/love interest Casey a beautiful metal angel for her birthday. This begs the question; what turned this gentle soul into the mass murdering reaper?

I look forward to finding out the answer as it is slowly drip-fed to us through the remaining five issues of the series. There are certainly no easy answers in Winter City, but that's just the way I like it.

Winter City #7 cements the staying power of the series and the depth of the premise. This isn't just a 'one hit wonder'. Winter City is here to stay and makes for an iconic fixture in the Australian comic book scene.  

- Christof


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