Review: The Autumnal #5 (Vault Comics)

Writer: Daniel Kraus
Artist: Chris Shehan
Colorist: Jason Wordie
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Designer: Tim Daniel 
On Sale: 3/10/2021

As we return to Comfort Notch Kat experiences a roller coaster of emotions. 

PLOT AND STORY 

The sudden vanishing of a Comfort Notch citizen compels Kat to follow a hidden-in-plain-sight clue… before the worst omen of all manifests from the leaves.

After a short break The Autumnal returns and it returns with a bang. In just one issue a story that I believed was a straight up horror turned into a psychological thriller before flipping on itself again to be a supernatural horror. The Autumnal is storytelling at the highest level by Daniel Kraus and keeps getting better and better with every issue.

I find myself genuinely engaged in Kat’s journey. This issue explores more about why Kat left Comfort Notch in the first place and what we learned felt like someone had just punched me in the gut because it hits you on so many emotional levels and completely changes your perception on almost everything we have seen so far. I can’t wait to see how the story develops over the next few issues. 

ARTWORK

This series has a wonderfully warm feeling to its art which contrasts with the dark nature of the story perfectly. Chris Shehan draws beautiful comics and I admire the way he lays out each page. Each panel feels well proportioned and with just the right amount of detail. Jason Wordie brings this comic to life with his colours creating a book which feels like it’s surrounded by its own aura. His work on this book or another Vault series called Resonant are worthy of an Eisner.

The page which really stood out for me in this issue is towards the middle when Carol finds herself isolated in the woods. You know from the artwork that she is being bombarded by noise but the page doesn’t have any words. It’s the way in which the page has jagged lines on the edges moving sharply towards Carol in the centre which gives the reader the sense of her being crowded with voices inside her head or out.

Completing the creative team is Jim Campbell with tight, clear letters as usual. This issue in particular stood out as we have an almost fourth wall narrative on certain pages and the hint of green in the box helps this stand out and tell the reader these words are coming from off page.

FINAL THOUGHTS 

A story filled with mystery, suspense and now possibly redemption makes The Autumnal one of the best stories on the shelves right now. A slow burn story done well to keep the reader engaged on every page complimented by some truly breathtaking artwork.

I read this via an advance preview copy issued by Vault Comics and received no incentive to review this comic. All images are courtesy of Vault Comics and their respective owners.

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