I don’t know about you, but when I played Candyland as a kid I dreamt up stories as I tapped my piece across the board. Usually they were innocent enough, me being a youngling and all, but sometimes a darker story would evolve and things would get messy. That’s basically what this story is all about: the wild fantastic world of gumdrops and rainbows but with gore and swearing. Bring it! Is it good?
I Hate Fairyland #4 (Image Comics)
The story so far is all about Gertrude, a little girl who has been trapped in Fairyland for 27 years looking for a key. She hasn’t found it and in her slow madness of never aging and eating only sugar she’s become a potty-mouthed, violent wreck. The queen of Fairyland wants her gone, but rules won’t allow her to die. A loophole however has brought another little girl into Fairyland. Gertrude just felt the wrath of said girl and has been violently beaten to a pulp. Literally.
Why does this book matter?
Skottie Young has been fire on variant baby covers for Marvel for years now. You know his art and now you get to know his mind. This book takes you into it as he writes the damn thing!
The story so fa…ouch.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The first three issues established Gertrude and the world but have spent more time messing around than progressing the plot. This issue has kickstarted Gertrude since the plot twist of last issue has made her have to hurry up. Young introduces a new villainous character that’s tons of fun (and sits atop a skull throne!) and even has Gertrude face the very character that wants her dead!
Mother puffer needs to be a real thing we use.
He also manages to adequately juxtapose Gertrude’s actions, which take her to the darkest and evilest places, with the new little girl who seems to only complete each task faster than the next. Young makes it quite plain to see it’s Gertrude’s darker personality that’s failed her in acquiring the key. This sequence is fun due to it popping through time quickly, but also in the fantastical details in every scene. If you say, stop on a single panel of a witch handing off the Thread of Tot’s Eye, you get a vivid look at the witch’s home, but also the witch herself with mushrooms growing from her back and saggy breasts for good measure. This book is filled with details and that’s half the fun.
As Young takes us to many new locations we get plenty of cutesy gumdrop goodness, but also dark goriness too. Gertrude continues to slash her way around town and there are plenty of monsters to ogle along the way.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Gertrude goes toe to toe with the queen a bit too long which slows things down considerably. Since we already know why the new girl is in this world it makes this read a bit pointless, unless of course you’re a new reader, but at seven pages that’s a lot of page time. This scene doesn’t do a lot as far as extrapolating on the character dynamic either. The queen hates Gertrude and vice versa. Again, these are things we already knew.
You should get that looked at!
Is It Good?
The art will make you barf with joy and the commentary on the insanity of fairytale lands will stick with you for a long while.
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