Review – Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland #3 (of 7) (IDW Publishing)

Wraith03_cvr-REGPublisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Charles P. Wilson III
Release Date: 15th January 2014

Three escaped criminals turn to Charles Manx in desperation to escape the law. This is perhaps the poorest choice of getaway driver there has ever been. Then again, after spending any length of time with these guys, all sense of sympathy quickly disappears. You know you’re in grim company when Charles Manx is one of the more agreeable fellas on any road trip.

The trip builds patiently until the snowflakes start to fall. The journey into Christmasland is a dark one where gritty reality slowly morphs into a twisted fantastical nightmare. This is thanks to some spectacular art. The characters are pale and ugly and wicked. King Geek, the former circus performer, is particularly stand-offish to say the least with his split tongue and wild eyes. A tense journey where the passengers stress about being recaptured by the police builds to a splash page so sinister it could drive Buddy the Elf to suicide.

The story is just as horrific in the real world. We get glimpses into the pasts of these unfortunate passengers in a great move that was used so effectively in the first issue of this arc. It breaks up the journey, builds an interesting sub plot and allows time to move forward subtly. This book is building toward something awesomely grotesque.

With great art, top writing and a fresh take on horror this book is on a roll.

Rating: 8/10.

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

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