Well, vol. 4 doesn’t make me want to give up on the series before its final volume comes out. So that puts it ahead of “Sex Criminals” at least.
As for the actual story contained within this volume, it involves a lot of running around. Clara and the local police are running after the Laughing Man after he escapes from Doc Sutton in Rural Gideon Falls and starts having his way with the townspeople. At the same time, Norton and Doc start running towards the only people they think have a chance of stopping this threat: The Ploughmen. Meanwhile, over in Urban Gideon Falls, Father Fred and Angela meet up with the Bishop and are thrust into the Pentoculus in hopes of getting to the literal center of everything. Before that happens, they have to run away from some very creepy creatures. It all leads to a climax that actually involves a whole lot of standing around, but more than enough C4 to make up for it.
“The Pentoculus” further cements “Gideon Falls” as a series that’s worth reading more for its art than its story. Writer Jeff Lemire shuffles the characters around a whole lot and even gives us some answers to some of the questions the series has raised. I’m glad that he does, but “because it’s a multiverse” is one that needed to be built up more than it has been to this point. Fortunately Andrea Sorrentino’s art is more than enough to make up for the narrative’s failings. His surrealistic layouts and creepy insectoid imagery conjure suspense and horror from the visuals alone. Even though there are the occasional misshapen faces that appear that way due to deadline pressure than supernatural forces, the majority of Sorrentino’s work captivates and sells the stakes that the writer is trying to conjure. Though I will give Lemire this: Ending the story on a cliffhanger that causes the villain some consternation is something that I’d like to see more writers do.