Review – Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland #2 (of 7) (IDW Publishing)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Charles Paul Wilson III
Release Date: 11th December 2013

Issue two and already a very interesting change of scene for Wraith. Unlike the last issue which was full of killer snowmen and cannibal children, this issue is much more grounded and gritty. There is no unreliable narrator or illusions and if it wasn’t for the artwork, I doubt you could even tell it was part of the same series. Don’t let any of that be a concern; it’s still pretty damn good.

Events unfold during a prisoner transport. Three criminals are being moved across California by two cops in a van. The craziest of the three criminals (so far anyway…) has an interesting talent and a pretty gross, yet simple, escape plan.

It’s just fascinating. The dialogue is nasty and uncomfortable to read which makes it utterly compelling. The art is wonderfully creepy and manages to deftly capture some pretty nasty people. King Geek is one character I won’t forget for a while. He’s disgusting, unique, extremely dangerous and kind of funny in a pitch black sort of way. The pacing is sound and the lay out is much more fluid than last time around. It might be a bit heavy on the dialogue for some and it might be a bit appalling for others but if you’re after a new, more creative, brand of horror than the simple brutality available on the supermarket shelves then give this a try.

When reading this comic you are always aware that there is something horrible around the corner. There is a feeling of dread that goes along with all great horrors and that is the sense that everyone is fucked. Wraith has this covered.

Rating: 8/10.

The writer of this piece was: James McQueen
You can also find James on Twitter.

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