We’re deep into this series now and while the last four issues were a bit weak, we have to continue this trend for a while again. The first two issues are experimental, kind of like the Neopolitan triple story one in Vol. 2, the first two stories are palindromes. They can be read forwards or backward which is kind of neat, but the first story is about a man who lost his wife to cancer and doesn’t want to move on. It goes through a metaphorical trip through Hell. There’s an odd spoken dialogue that’s broken up and told in riddles like a madman.
The second story is about an old couple who are having an add-on built onto their home and the husband is obsessed with crosswords. The wife is a mean old bat who doesn’t like what the young construction crew is doing. The story is a lesson on live and let live and we’re finally back to the real-life problems that people have that can hit home and feel real. I don’t know why it took so many issues to get here, but this story feels good.
The third story is more of a ghost story and has a few twists and turns and I quite liked it. It’s more of what we were getting in the first two volumes and it feels like everything is back on track. This one is pretty trippy, and the last story is as well. An overbearing worried dad who can’t stand the thought of his teenage daughter having sex decides to snoop into her life and pays the ultimate price. It’s a wild ride and I didn’t quite expect the ending to happen the way it did outside of ICM’s typical meddling, but it definitely talks about the bond between parent and child to an extreme.
Overall, it’s a bit strange, but the fourth volume brings us back on track to the types of stories I liked from ICM. The experimental stuff got too experimental and didn’t tell wholly interesting stories and we still don’t know a lot about ICM and his brother.