The Mask of Night #4 begins with a pirate chase: The Boreas is pursued by Lucius’ ship and is trying to evade. Hamlet, having come to his senses, wants to go to rescue Juliet from the cannibal’s ship. Viola is proving hard to persuade; she has an entire crew to think of, and the chances of escaping are poor–attacking the ship is insane.
Del Col and McCreery tell a tense, gripping tale, pulling together the different interpersonal and political strands that have been running through The Mask of Night and bringing them to a satisfying climax. They are also enjoying inserting quotes and near quotes from various Shakespeare plays into the text; if recognized, they are an additional layer; if not, the tale flows well all the same.
Belanger does chaos and confusion very well. He also captures the level of depravity on Lucius’ ship, with artfully placed bits of bloody meat and hanging corpses. The fear on Juliet’s face is there for a reason. Lucius’ madness is also apparent as he looks like a man who might change his mind at any moment. There is also a visual echo from the previous issue that is a perfect bookend to the series.
If you have been reading The Mask of Night, you definitely want to pick up the conclusion; it is satisfying dramatically and romantically, and has a good round of fighting to tie it all off. If you have not, you want the trade paperback when it comes out. One thing to keep in mind, though: This is a complete arc, but it is not the end of the story. Once you start with Kill Shakespeare you’ll be hooked for the long term.
Kill Shakespeare: The Mask of Night #4 is available today from IDW Publishing.