This issue of Hoax Hunters brings this particular story arc to an end. Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley have taken us on a journey into the swamps to try and find out the cause of mass animal deaths. Axel Medellin’s artwork has heightened the atmosphere of the story and what the Hoax Hunters have uncovered so far. It’s time to find out if the Hoax Hunters get to Clive before he can carry out his plan.
At the end of issue #3, we saw Durand being captured by Clive. The start of this issue, we see him tied down and being prepared for sacrifice. Clive stands beside him, as he prays to the gods and tries to open the portal. The Hoax Hunters turn up. Jack explains that they have disrupted the signal of the portal, but Clive pulls a knife, intending to carry out the sacrifice of Durand. Regan uses a psychic blast to knock the knife out of Clive’s hand, but he is still able to order his followers to attack the Hoax Hunters. All hell breaks loose, as each side trades blows. Jack sets Durand free. As he does so, Bones – who is half man/half goat – grabs him by the head. Bones is crushing Jack’s head between his hands, but, before he succeeds, Ken lays his hand on him and, using thought transference, he turns Bones into a petting zoo goat. This is a good example of the humor that Michael Moreci includes at times in Hoax Hunters. Durand is free and heads after Clive, as he killed his clan, wiping out his family in the process. He wants revenge, but Jack needs Clive alive. Durand lets him go, but makes a promise to Jack. He will live to regret the day he chose Clive over him.
Clive is detained inside the Hoax Hunters HQ. Jack questions him about the portal device and why his father was involved in it. Jack’s father seems to be more involved than Jack thought or wanted him to be. Clive states the device enables someone to travel to another universe, but also says that all other universes he has travelled to have been wiped out by Jack’s father. Only one remains: The Eighth Parallel, which Clive was trying to reach by killing Durand. The Hoax Hunters appear on their TV show to dispel the story of the animal deaths, putting it down to pollution, but we know different. The team unwind after the show, but are shocked to see Donovan appear behind the scenes. He rarely shows up, so there must be something going on. He asks Jack for the device Clive was using to open the portal. Jack has carried out a few repairs on it, but gives it to Donovan, This turns out to be a copy of the device, as Jack has kept the real one. Ken watches with Jack, as the car containing Donovan, Clive, and of course, the fake device disappears into the distance.
On the last few pages, we see Jack with the real device driving out to the middle of the swamp. He tries to see if it still works. In front of him, a portal starts to open. Jack stands on one side and the huge creature from issue #2 stands on the other. As dead fish float to the swamp’s surface, Jack stands before the portal. He thinks his father is on the other side. What will he do?
A great ending to this story arc. Well, maybe not, as we don’t know if Jack entered the portal or not. A very entertaining story, aided by a well balanced team of Hoax Hunters. Nice vivid, precise artwork, with some lovely-drawn frames. I look forward to the start of a new story in issue #5. Another well-deserved 9/10!