Everfrost #4 opens on quite an exciting note — Rannveig and Van are set to clash as Rannveig’s paranoia begins to get the best of her, as seen at the end of the last issue. Van’s been through quite the emotional roller coaster herself after the last three issues, dealing with everything surrounding her son — it’s hard not to go into issue #4 wanting her to finally find some peace.
Despite all the setup with Rannveig and Van’s clash, the real challenge turns out to be Eric. Van actually has some great battle sequences in this issue, all of which are made better by Sami Kivela’s art. Kivela’s able to capture both the rage and sheer power Van has in these sequences quite beautifully. Everfrost is a testament to Kivela’s work in many ways, as so many of the futuristic designs and creatures (like the dragons) are brought to life by his pen. And they look awesome.
Van’s confrontation with Eric is quite good, but the moment loses its momentum at the end. After Rannveig and Van are on page together again, they actually have a really neat conversation — they talk about death and creation, and it’s a tragically beautiful conversation. Van and Rannveig often have the meatiest conversations in this story as a whole, giving the reader much to think about. And one of Van’s gentler (and most tragic) lines actually comes from this sequence, in which she laments how much of her life was spent fighting and how it has worn on her. It’s a really neat moment for this character, and it’s kind of unceremoniously cut off by her sudden death.
Of course, this is a universe where death isn’t really the end for these characters. Having Rannveig and Van have that conversation about creation beforehand actually makes the sequence of bringing Van back quite poignant in many ways. Though describing Van as a character of hatred felt like a bit of an oversimplification on Rannveig’s part, considering she always felt more lonely and tired than anything, there is something to be said about her wanting Van’s next shot at life better than her last. It’s the ways these characters enact their acts of mercy that make this series so striking, and this is another great example of how Ryan Lindsay pulls that off.
Is Van’s death scene a little unsettling for how abrupt it is? Yes. But her “rebirth” scenes are peaceful at the same time. The Van we see at the end of the title isn’t the same Van we spent three issues with. She’s not battle-worn or weary; she’s happy and almost unburdened. It makes that earlier conversation between Rannveig and Van all the more important — she isn’t suffering in the same way she used to.
Everfrost is a series that takes the reader on an emotional journey, particularly where Van is concerned. While certain plot beats can be confusing or even quite shocking, there’s a certain peace in the end that makes it all worth it. It’s clear Lindsay knew what he wanted to do with this series the minute he sat down to write it — and Kivela’s pencils bring that world to life quite effortlessly.
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