The Rush, written by Simon Spurrier and drawn by Nathan Gooden, can for the most part best be described as a low, seething burn. At least the first few issues can, because once we hit The Rush #4, it turns into a roiling conflagration.
Where before the hideous, abominable truth of the world, the supernatural terrors that preyed upon the sane light of reality, was mostly hidden and teased out in brutal bits and pieces here we see it all stark and raw and unflinching. In The Rush #4, the cards are laid on the table and the action is furious and nonstop.
After all the slow burn, after all of the build up, The Rush #4 creates a kind of frenetic catharsis of exhilarating horror as our protagonist Nettie is pushed into a direct conflict with the monstrous powers that dominate the frozen northern wastes of The Rush. The whole issue moves at a breakneck pace, with neither the reader nor poor Nettie given much chance to breathe as we’re constantly turning pages see what’s next while she’s desperately pushing forward and running for her life.
Any pretense Nettie might have had that there was a logical, reasonable explanation for her son’s disappearance is thrown headlong out the proverbial window. The bullets fly, the nightmares stalk the snow and the hillsides redden as the full title of The Rush promised.
This Hungry Earth Reddens Under Snowclad Hills suddenly takes on an ominous portent in The Rush #4 as we begin to learn the truth of the hungry earth, what it hungers for, and the bloody price it exacts on those who seek to satiate their greed on its bounty. The Rush has gone from a daring, spine-tingling and introspective examination of the vices of man and the danger man presents when driven to extremes and privation, spiked her and their by glimpses of unspeakable horrors to an endless cavalcade of those horrors laid bare in all their ominous, terrible splendor.
That doesn’t mean The Rush has given up all of its secrets, though, as we discover the monsters have motives and hidden truths of their own which they tease out to poor Nettie and leave us dangling on a white-knuckled cliffhanger.
It’s stressful, to finally have gotten so much out of an issue and be left dangling over the edge and having to wait a whole other month for more. In The Rush #4 the story has just crossed the threshold from excellent to exceptional, the story cranking it up several notches to become absolutely required reading if you’re a fan of speculative cosmic horror and fantasy. The art, the colors and textures, all of them remain top notch, evocative and emotive, hugely effective at portraying the terror of the moment. The Rush #4 has easily earned itself five out of five stars, and I cannot wait for the next.