Author: Garth Ennis
Illustrator: Mark Dos Santos
Colours: Salvatore Aiala Studios
Letters: Rob Steen
Cover Art: Russ Braun
Cover Colours: Andrew Elder
A Train Called Love #4 is a fly-by glimpse into the lives of (seemingly) different groups of people, all grappling with the complexities of getting involved with other people.
Being a novice to the series, this writer can only comment on the story provided here minus any backstory which may have developed over the three previous issues, however there is plenty going on in this issue for there to be some interesting speculation.
First we descend upon the outside of a bar/club called “Affected Air”, from where can be heard the opening tones of a band called “The Great Satan”, which gives some idea of the mediocrity of the night’s musical offerings within. Two women sit amidst the noise discussing a particular dilemma regarding a “home movie” involving the girlfriend of a guy they know, and what to do about this situation. They conclude that, overall, nothing can be done. Then begin the stories of their own love lives: experiences in college reveal a sexual fluidity which has seemingly become in itself a rite of passage.
Subsequently we catch further glimpses into, respectively, what appears to be the beginnings of a drug deal with a clearly unwilling participant, a gay affair in a hotel room with a still-closeted actor, and a spy unit who is monitoring the whole drug deal, one member of whom appears to be the sister of the reluctant guy’s girlfriend, which goes to show that these characters all share a connection, even if only tentative.
The illustration appears to be much like the storyline, clear and colourful and pulling no punches, reflecting the modernity of the story. From the inside of the bar, to the inside of a hotel room, to the undercover setting of the warehouse and the alleyway, all are visually striking enough in their own way to grab the reader’s attention.
Overall, this comic appears to deal with two themes, love and hiding, whether it’s hiding who you’re with (hotel guys), hiding what you’re doing (drug deal) or simply hiding who you like (two girls at the gig), or any other combination of the two. The sense is strong that all of these people are related in some way, or share some sort of connection. Think an R-rated version of Love Actually, but with a glimpse of male anatomy which is, in one shot, not entirely obscured by a filled glass of wine. For the purposes of keeping this review non-R-rated, that screenshot won’t be shown here.