July 29, 2015

Top Cow Reviews: The Tithe #4


TI004_covAsocialThe Tithe #4
Publisher: Top Cow
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artist: Rahsan Ekedal & Mike Spicer
Cover: Rahsan Ekedal & Betsy Gonia

They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and Samaritan is finding that out as Hawkins, Spicer, and Ekedal wrap up the first arc of this title. What started off as a series of well executed heists of corrupt mega churches has now spiraled into a chaotic mess of death and revenge.

Hawkins has maintained a high level of detail storytelling and quality throughout these past few issues that has helped to exceed expectations about this story. Sure, you could get caught up on the idea of corrupt mega churches but he’s made this much more than that. The characters are rich and at times Hawkins makes it difficult to take just one side in all of this. Forcing you to think and maybe see a perspective not your own and hopefully opening up a conversation which is what good writing is supposed to do. The chemistry between Dwayne and James has only improved and with his attention to detail, Hawkins has made them very believable FBI Agents. Their a capable duo who you can get behind and actually root for even if you don’t agree with their beliefs. When we get to crumbling of Samaritan it’s a powerful deconstruction of the group that we can see coming but it’s still great to watch. Hawkins also throws in a curve when it comes to Kyle and Mike that makes me wish we were able to spend a little more time learning about these brothers. As far as endings go it’s a bit too neat for my tastes. However, the Captain expresses my own thoughts on this issue just fine in the story.

I’ve praised Ekedal’s artwork since the first time seeing it in Think Tank and it seems as if that won’t be changing anytime soon. Aside from how great the art inside of the panels looks, he also employs a range of angles and close ups that heighten the drama of Hawkin’s narrative. From Kyle looking into his brother’s dead eyes to him entering the room covered in blood. The latter scene is pretty powerful and I’m not sure Kyle has looked that imposing in any other issue of the series. Mike Spicer’s colors continue to be on point from beginning to end here. The first panel with the bloody tire tread marks alongside the pool of blood is a very striking scene because of this. There are several other examples that are just as good or even better on these pages but for some reason that one just sticks with me.

The Tithe has everything that you’re asking for when it comes to a great story with it’s narrative and visual elements. It’s also refreshing to see a racially diverse cast that isn’t part of the selling point of a comic. The creative team let the story speak for itself and that’s exactly how it should be. So if you haven’t started this series, go and grab the first four issues then wait impatiently for the next story arc to begin!

Infinite Speech



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