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'Dawnrunner' #4 reveals the horror of a new enemy
Dark Horse

Comic Books

‘Dawnrunner’ #4 reveals the horror of a new enemy

‘Dawnrunner’ #4 leans into its organic sci-fi nature.

The stakes have been raised in Dawnrunner, and with the fourth issue out this week, all hope seems lost. In a society where giant beasts fall from a portal and are killed for the entertainment of the masses by giant mechs, one can see that hubris is inevitable and that something will come that can’t be stopped. The melding of man and machine is ever-present in this latest chapter, which sees Anita Marr running out of choices with her Dawnrunner mech pushed to the brink.

At face value, one might assume this series is similar to something like Pacific Rim, but this issue leans heavily into the unique element of how the Dawnrunner was made. It was revealed in a previous issue that Dawnrunner is connected to the brain of a soldier who lost his family, Ichiro. Since Anita discovered this, she’s been sharing memories with him and seemingly melding minds with him, too. Whether or not that is an advantage is revealed in this issue as she and the Dawnrunner connect in a new way.

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The science fiction element of it all is ever present in this melding of minds, which Ram V plucks at well. That includes a reveal to Ichiro that pushes him and Anita to a new place. This leads to a transformation that’s quite a sight to see.

'Dawnrunner' #4 review

The enemy is quite stunning in its horror.
Credit: Dark Horse

Speaking of, Evan Cagle continues to amaze with his visuals. That’s especially true of the “Prime” kaiju, or as they call it in this universe, Tetza. There is an almost god-like element to it that’s freakish and unreal. It’s as if Cagle was inspired by the detailed description of angels from the Bible. That spirituality relates to a key double-page splash of Anita transforming across the page. It’s a contrast as she goes from slimy red veins into a white statuesque figure. Again, there’s something angelic going on with the visuals.

The big reveal between Anita and Ichiro seems to be their desire to save others. From Anita’s need to save her daughter by killing all Tetza’s to Ichiro trying to save the children he’s already lost. This connection, while heroic, doesn’t come off as a huge bonding moment between the two, even with the visuals showing they’re literally bonded. It might be due to how Anita seems to only observe Ichiro and not the other way around. Are they bonding because they only have each other now that the Dawnrunner is damaged, or is it something else? I was left wondering what this bond really meant.

Dawnrunner #4 sets up a mega showdown as our heroes evolve into something greater than themselves. Can they save each other, and all of humanity? It’s certainly setting up a finale for the ages.

'Dawnrunner' #4 reveals the horror of a new enemy
‘Dawnrunner’ #4 reveals the horror of a new enemy
Dawnrunner #4
Dawnrunner #4 sets up a mega showdown as our heroes evolve into something greater than themselves. Can they save each other, and all of humanity? It's certainly setting up a finale for the ages. 
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Visuals capture the awesomeness of the enemy and the delicate physical connection of its heroes
Fills in gaps for the characters
The bond of Anita and Ichiro seems almost entirely physical and not spiritual even when the visuals suggest that's the case
8.5
Great
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