Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Shapeshifters #4
The final tale, “Ole Heg”:
In the previous chapter, we met The Storyteller, a TV character from the 1980s who tells fascinating tales to his devoted dog. These tales come from all around the world and feature myths and stories!
The dog hears a strange flicker outside in the opening of Shapeshifters #4, recalling the tale to the Storyteller. In addition, Ruth and her mother worked in a rice paddy. However, there is a new employee, an older lady who must pick up any rice grain that has fallen on the ground. Ruth is terrified of her, and she is especially afraid after her mother recounts Ole Heg's tale.
The Ole Heg spirit is a pure flame one, and if anyone opens the door for them, they drain blood. Then, without warning, Ruth makes another blunder. She opens the door and immediately shuts it again. Even if she slammed the door shut, the Spirit was able to freely enter the home since she initially opened it.
The spirit of this person begins to drain the blood from Ruth's mother, and the elderly woman working in the rice paddy ages. Ruth remains up, attempting to prevent the Spirit from happening, but with no success. The mother's health declines as a result of this spirit.
Ruth goes looking for the Spirit, but she only finds him speaking to a tree. The tree exposes the Spirit's vulnerability: salt and the sun. The Spirit is also afflicted with being compelled to gather rice grains off the floor.
Ruth flees, with the Spirit pursuing her, and drops a sack of rice on the ground. In an attempt to collect the rice, the Spirit is unable to do so in time and is burnt to death!
The Storyteller: Shapeshifters #4 has a different sort of vampiric spirit tale about it. What stood out to me was the fact that this is a dark and gloomy narrative. Like the previous instalments, there are a number of thematic elements in this book.
Ruth's mother is dying because Ole Heg consumed her blood. The narrative does not describe the events in detail, although I'm not sure whether I'd give this particular issue to my children. When I was a kid, something like this would have terrified me for a while. As a result, this problem feels misplaced in the context of the rest of the series.
The theme of the comic, on the other hand, is outstanding. Nobody believed Ruth, yet she went above and above to rescue her mother. Sometimes all you can do is act despite being doubted by others. I don't want to encourage my children to take hasty action, but I believe it is important to listen to their instincts.
The fourth issue of The Storyteller: Shapeshifters is a fantastic tale, but it feels thematically misplaced from the others. So, despite my reservations about the artwork and other aspects of this book, I still believe it's a fantastic read. For a great comic with a solid series, I give it four out of five stars.