Everything started rocky, but it’s finally hit its stride. More than anything, it’s because like issue 3, issue 4 has moved beyond hinting at questions and has started hinting at answers. The mysterious deaths are unquestionably linked to some kind of signal coming from the store and the people on the social fringes of the town are starting to notice.
Lori, our protagonist, goes on a sort of spiritual journey. She’s tripping, saying, “For almost 24 hours since I drank the paint, I have been able to see the universe—or some kind of universe—inside me.” She meets a strange old woman in a lighthouse.
It’s in these weird moments that writer Christopher Cantwell’s talent shines. He’s got a knack for Twin Peaks style dream sequences. They’re incredibly effective at showing a character’s interior landscape, sprawling their inner life from inside their head to the outside of the page. This sequence is the highlight of this issue (maybe the series, thus far). Similar sequences steal the show frequently in his excellent other comic series She Could Fly.
Aside from all of the work it does to help us understand Lori, it helps move her forward. She’s got a choice in this issue: she can either investigate Everything, the sinister superstore with the help of a drunk electronics store owner, or she can take a job there. Her dilemma is the focus of the issue, making it a complete story within the larger story of Everything.
I.N.J. Culbard’s art has stayed steady throughout. His work is spectacular in the aforementioned dream sequence, but also in the violent moments. The quieter scenes all seem to call toward department store catalogues, which is excellent for this series about an evil department store.
It’s not Culbard’s fault that the characters are hard to tell apart, nor necessarily Cantwell’s. It’s hard to keep a cast as large as Everything’s names straight without a refresher at the beginning of every issue. Maybe the idea is that this will sell more as a graphic novel than as single issue comics, but seeing six or more named characters once a month isn’t enough to keep them apart.
Everything #4 is an improvement in a series that started rough, but is on a strong upward swing.
Everything #4 will be released by Dark Horse Comics December 14, 2019.
Wicked Rating – 7/10