Review – Tales From The Darkside #1 (IDW Publishing)


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Publisher: IDW Publishing
Story: Joe Hill
Art: Gabriel Rodriguez
Release Date: 15th June 2016

I was never familiar with the TV series Tales from the Darkside, although I grew up watching re-runs of the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits, so I had a good idea of what to expect in picking up this book. Especially from the duo that brought us Locke and Key.

I went into reading this with an open mind not expecting to much from it to be honest. I was aware that this initial run was going to be 4 issues long with an option for IDW to release more dependent on reception and if I’m honest the first few pages lived up to my expectations. It was at best a formulaic read, setting the stage for the inevitable moral twist at the end that always accompanied such shows/books of this ilk.

Then 13 pages in came the twist I wasn’t expecting, the tease from the writer that there might be more to this than meets the eye. I hastily flicked back to the start of the book and poured over every panel and speech by every character, hunting for a missed clue.

I studied the rest of the book with the same intent, re-reading each page and it wasn’t till the end I had realised that the writer had sold me a dummy. He had teased me by showing me enough in 1 page of what’s to come in the next 3 issues that I absorbed the story. But should I have expected anything less from the offspring of Stephen King?

The writing and artwork goes together like copy and paste. It is clear that Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez know how each other work and they know how to work well together. Gabriel’s artwork allowing Joe’s text to flow across the pages as if it were water.

However, this is where I am torn. I think I expected more from this book than is fair. You can’t compare it to Locke and Key, nor to Horns, another Joe Hill tome. It is constrained by the precedent set by the TV series and I think it confines this dynamic duo’s ability.

That said there was enough in this book to wet my appetite for what is to come and to be fair if I am going to judge this story I should do so after I have read all 4 issues together as I think that this is a small part in a bigger tale.

An OK start, but I think better is to come

Rating: 2.5/5

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The writer of this piece was: John Patterson

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