Review: ‘House Of Gold & Bones’ #4

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With all the answers revealed, “House Of Gold & Bones” #4 closes on its thrilling ultimate chapter. The narrative steers the central protagonist towards one last revelation. In his musical crossover to comics, Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor has taken readers to a mysterious and nightmarish hellhole.

WRITTEN BY: Corey Taylor
ART BY: Richard Clark
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE: July 31, 2013

A young man, known only as “Zero,” found himself in Hell, being chased by Black John and his demonic gang of warriors. Never knowing his true identity, Zero was always on the verge of crossing the line between insanity and reason. Is he really a vicious killer like the others say he is? Or is Zero hiding a good soul behind layers of hate and anger? In a never-ending city, Zero has to make a leap of faith into the unknown and find out what’s actually going on. But, what happens if the truth is something he doesn’t wants to hear?

In this issue, Taylor finishes the character arc of Zero with a final battle of wits. Wearing a prisoner’s uniform, Zero is punishing himself for something he did in his previous life. After building himself an impenetrable wall, families and friends were cast out from his existence. Zero has to face memories that he buried in the back of his head for a long time. Taylor even provides an important clue why Black John looks the way he does.

As the story reaches its final pages, Taylor delivers a climatic confrontation between the id and ego. Hinting at a split-personality, Zero is fighting for control of his mind. But which part is destined to win, his good or bad half? A nice twisted is added in the opening pages as Zero heads towards his final destination. What if the other personalities don’t need Zero as his host anymore?

Artist Richard Clark captures a dark and brooding atmosphere in the first panel. Aided by Dan Jackson’s colors, Clark illustrates a cathedral with grand Gothic designs. With the walls of the cathedral painted blood red, there is a slightly scarlet glow in the air when lightning strikes. Inside the cathedral, the flames from the torches provide a creepy and ominous vibe. Zero’s melancholic mood is heightened as he crashes down on one of the pews. It almost looks like Zero is sitting inside his own coffin.

You can tell Clark put in a lot of thought and effort into the panel layouts. In four panels, Clark transitions the timeline from when Zero first starts out as an innocent child and ends with him as an angry adult. Clark is able to recreate the same poses and facial expressions as Zero jumps in time. When readers find out who Black John really is, Clark drops the hints in close-ups and closes with a wide shot.

With mystery finally solved, “House of Gold and Bones” #4 ends its terrifying journey into a nightmarish reality. If you have all the issues, now would be a great time to pick out all the clues and see how the mystery works as a whole piece.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis

  • Canucklehead

    I was a little disappointed in the ending but I am wondering if this hurt from so much time passing between each issue. Now that I have them all I’m going to go back and read them all back to back to see if that helps.

  • JorgeSolis

    If you put the issues together, the ending is kinda hinted at. Look at the backgrounds, because you’ll notice the last confrontation is foreshadowed.

  • JorgeSolis

    But I do agree that you lose momentum when time passes.