Publisher: Vault Comics
Writer: Eliot Rahal
Artwork: John Bivens
Colours: Hannah Jerrie, Iris Monahan
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Release Date: 16th October 2019 (issue #1)
An alien craft orbits a blue green planet, launching a probe deep into the Cretaceous swamps of what will become North America, where it lies waiting, lost in time. 65 million years later, a comet’s path crosses over the town of King Lake and the probe hatches, releasing a bloodthirsty alien monster and an army of carnivorous mutant brain slugs upon the unsuspecting townsfolk.
Once again, I have been very lucky in grabbing a preview pack from Vault Comics which contains the first and second issues of their all-new series Creature Feature, and I can say honestly and sincerely that this series is an absolute blast, a sci-fi horror romp that you do not want to miss! As I’ve got issue 1 and 2 in my hands, I’ve got a bit more material to work with in terms of the story development, but I will do my very best to stay spoiler-free for those not as fortunate as me.
Creature Feature takes some of the best sci-fi B-Movie horror tropes from the ‘50s through to the ‘80s and mashes them together into one glorious comic. We have monsters lifted straight out of classic 1950s movies like The Blob, It Came From Outer Space, and The Night of The Blood Beast. We have homages to Tales From The Crypt and schlock horror hosts like Svengoolie, Zacherley, and Chilly Billy. There’s a clear nod to Night of The Creeps and other similar possession horror movies through the decades, and there are even nods to a couple of Carpenter classics. When you’ve finished wading through the movie references grab your old EC comics and get stuck in because Creature Feature is a heartfelt homage to this classic era of sci-fi and horror.
The opening of this story has a deceptively safe, teen horror kind of feel to it. It’s the sort of thing you’d expect a young Corey Feldman to turn up in – but that doesn’t last for long. Very quickly, things go South for a surprising number of people, and it’s great to watch it unfold while the majority of the town carries on with their lives in ignorant bliss.
Character-wise, there’s the typical small-town horror movie cast. We have a L.A. “Alpha-Male” jock and his cronies who you’ll be praying to get eaten (or at the very least probed) within the first couple of panels of meeting them. There’s a group of bratty kids who – well – who you’ll also be praying get eaten within the first couple of panels of meeting them. There’s a TV host who’s very much a faded, drunken, Vincent Price. We’ve also have reasonably wholesome high school kid Jared, who’s desperately trying to hook up with a mysterious girl he talks to over the C.B. Channel. I’m laying good money on Tom Atkins turning up sometime very soon, at least I’ll be really disappointed if he doesn’t.
I love the artwork, for me a wonderful mixture of original EC, Mike Mignola circa Plague of Frogs, and a contemporary edge. The creature design is fantastic, and the horrific transformation the victim undergoes once they get one of the aforementioned brain slugs inside them was completely unexpected and particularly cool! I can’t fault the artwork or the colouring at all, it’s perfect for the type of story we’re dealing with, and has lots of nostalgic nods to its reference material and a certain Lovecraftian, Colour Out Of Space, feel to our Alien interlopers.
Not one single person working on this series has given anything less than 100% and it shows in every detail of these first two issues. I reckon that anyone with a love of B-Movie sci-fi and horror is going to have an absolute blast with this, and it’s definitely one I’m going to be devouring as new issues come out.
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek