Edward Scissorhands #4

Originally posted on Bloody Disgusting

“Edward Scissorhands” #4 deals with old idea that adults are incompetent and the concept that their incompetence interferes with a child’s autonomy. This is, in fact, one of the favorite themes in children’s media; probably because the children to whom it is targeted find it as exasperating as Megs does when the adults in her life won’t listen to her about Eli and jump to some VERY WRONG conclusions.

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WRITTEN BY: Kate Leth ART BY: Drew Rausch PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing PRICE: $3.99 RELEASE: February 11, 2015

This issue follows Megs as she attempts to do what’s right: protect Edward’s preference not to leave his castle, but save the kidnapped boy from Eli anyway. This again falls solidly in the realm of giving children credit, allowing them agency, acknowledging their autonomy and motivations. Megs is a great character; she hasn’t been developed as much as one might like, this far into a series, but she’s strong, driven, and relatable. And after all the setup, exposition and background, this issue finally features a major conflict. Sure, it’s worrisome given that this series has been advertised as a 5-part arc, but if you love where this is going, it’s definitely a strong indicator that Edward Scissorhands can– and must– continue beyond this arc.

The art continues to be strong and consistent, creating an eerie feeling in the empty town even as the dialogue sets it up as off-putting. Travis Lanham’s letters do the work of giving Edward a voice. His strange, small, stilted letters convey Edward’s strangeness, his unaccustomedness to speaking, but also his childlike innocence. Rausch’s character design of the police officer behind the desk, to whom Megs is reporting Eli’s involvement in the kidnapping, is both a caricature and not out of place. His exaggerated and grotesque features are not jarring, but they set him up as a formidable barrier: he is characterized by his trope-ness, and is unlikely to budge his perspective in the face of reason (especially if it’s from a child).

The review from last issue was about the filler, a Third Issue Itch situation, and both because this issue continues to build the action and because the solicit for this series claims 5 parts, I can’t help but be nervous about a single wrap-up issue after so much build-up. But I’m hopeful that this is an ongoing series, beyond the fifth issue, and these recent turns of events certainly redeem last issue and give hope for great things going forward.

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