Review – Regression #1 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artwork: Danny Luckert
Release Date: 10th May 2017

Poor Adrian is having a pretty tough time of it.  Plagued by grotesque, horrifying hallucinations, his life has become nothing short of a waking nightmare.  An unsuccessful attempt to try and unwind at a barbecue turns out to be the last straw, prompting him to take up his friend’s advice and see a hypnotist who specialises in past-life regression to try and get to the root of the problem.  Unfortunately, it turns out that the truth behind his visions is far more terrifying than merely some childhood trauma, and when something follows him back into the real world, we quickly discover that Adrian’s nightmare is only just beginning.

Acclaimed horror writer Cullen Bunn continues to showcase his flair for the disturbing in this new series, and right from the very first page – a chillingly-narrated “autopsy” of sorts – he has us on edge.  Bunn revels in the startling juxtaposition between Adrian’s unremarkable life and the ghastly hallucinations he’s being subjected to, and the insect motif he uses to deliver these visions is perfectly chosen to instantly get under the reader’s skin.

My only real criticism of this first issue – aside from it not being longer – is that Adrian himself is a fairly nondescript leading man.  Perhaps that’s by design, and perhaps once we dig a little deeper into the character that will start to change, but for the time being it’s difficult to feel too invested in him, as harrowing as his visions undoubtedly are.

Danny Luckert’s artwork is markedly different from Bunn’s frequent horror collaborator Tyler Crook, but his detailed pencils and gift for drawing creepy-crawlies definitely serve him in good stead with this particular series.  There’s the occasional awkward facial expression along the way, but when it comes to nailing the horror beats, Luckert delivers in spaces, from the skin-crawling first page to the eyebrow-raising last.

The final pages of the book reveal the full depth of the story, and both Bunn and Lurkert work together seamlessly to keep the reader guessing as to what is a hallucination and what’s actually happening.  It’s going to be interesting to see what style of horror we’re really looking at here, and whether the creators are going to utilise an in-your-face approach or, perhaps, adopt a more psychological tone.  Regardless, whatever way they decide to go, I’m definitely on board with this one.

An interesting premise boldly executed, this series puts a genuinely disturbing spin on the world of hypnotism and past-life regression, and with a horror maestro like Bunn at the helm, it’s pretty clear that this story is only just getting started.

Rating: 4/5.

If you want to find out more about REGRESSION, make sure to check out our interview with series writer Cullen Bunn by CLICKING HERE.

ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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