Marvel Knights 4 #22

Story Title: The Yancy Street Golem
Reviewer: Paul Sebert
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art: Valetine Delandro & Batt
Colorist: Avalon’s Dan Kemp
Letterer: VC’s Dave Sharpe
Editor: Warren Simons
Publisher: The Merry Marvel Marching Society

Here’s a book to remember come December where we list the best issues of the year.

The premise is fairly simple. A very large individual has been randomly attacking pedestrians on Ben Grimm’s old neighborhood. Pulse reporter Ben Ulrich wants to get to the bottom of this situation and enlists a reluctant Thing to investigate. Ben confronts the monstrous being which be more misguided than evil.

Now what really makes this issue work is in the details of how this story is told. The colors by Dan Kemp are dark and moody while the art by Delandro and Batt is very distinct with it’s dark moody linework. Panels are perfectly framed cutting back and forth between the various characters as small details in the individuals language shine in particular. Upon my second read it was great to notice these things such as the way Ben Grimm wears a hat and gently clutches a glass when fetching a drink.

Sacasa’s script for this issue is perhaps the best of his run on the book. His story is intelligent; steeped in both New York history and Jewish myth. He makes sure to give both Ulrich and Grimm their own unique voices in the first person narration that highlights the tale. There is a stark difference in Ulrich’s somewhat romantic view of New York’s history and Grimm’s more somber memories of growing up in a rough neighborhood.

Ultimately though this story isn’t so much about Ben confronting and fighting a monster so much as confronting a mirror image of himself. Ultimately the solution to the situation is somewhat heartbreaking, as is Grimm’s revelation regarding the nature of monsters.

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