Publisher: Vault Comics
Writer(s): Tim Daniel, Michael Moreci
Artwork: Joshua Hixson
Colours: Jordan Boyd
Letters: Jim Campbell
Release Date: 27th November 2019
The Blaine family are wealthy, successful and powerful. Simply put, they are the family of Cape Augusta Maine. When Charles Blaine and his wife are brutally slain under mysterious circumstances, his younger brother Chase must take in his orphaned niece and nephew. Returning to Cape Augusta he must face both his inner demons, and those inhabiting the seemingly cursed and haunted grounds of his ancestral home.
Okay, I’m a bit late to the party on this one and have only just grabbed the first 3 issues of the series, so apologies if I go over some old ground for the benefit of those in the same boat as me. Vault have, so far, produced hit series after hit series and The Plot is the first title in Vault Comics’ new Nightfall imprint. For me, The Plot proves there is absolutely no doubt that Vault are now a serious contender in the horror comic genre.
My first question regarding this series is, why the hell does anyone in America still live in Maine? Between Stephen King, Joe Hill, Peter Benchley and a host of other authors (heck, even murder mystery shows such as Murder She Wrote), it would appear that statistically you’ve got a greater chance of meeting a gruesome and untimely death (at the hands of everything from your next-door neighbour, to possessed children, supernatural entities, gargantuan sea creatures and monsters from another world), than anywhere else in the world combined.
The Plot is a dark and chilling gothic horror that pretty much throws you in at the deep end, while at the same time managing to build tension slowly and artfully, setting every hair on the back of your neck on end one at a time. The character development is really well done, and without doing a disservice to either Tim Daniel or Michael Moreci, I could easily see the characters being the cast of a Stephen King novel. Personally, I don’t think that this is entirely a coincidence either. After all, this series is set in the heartland of King’s most famous nightmares. Before I got to the end of the first issue, I was already invested in the characters we’d been introduced to, and by the end of the third issue, I found myself fervently praying that everyone was going to make it to the end.
Yeah… like that’s going to happen.
Joshua Hixson’s art on this series has a real EC vibe to it, and feels very reminiscent of Francesco Francavilla. And for a Gothic horror series set in the mid ‘70s, who could ask for more than that? Hixson imbues the pages with a fantastically dark, claustrophobic feeling that gathers closer around you the more the story progresses. I can only assume that by the end it will be practically choking us with the tension it’s delivering. Even Jordan Boyd’s colours on this series amplify the tension; the simple palettes used help to draw the reader deeper into the story, focusing them on what’s right in front of them and not letting them mind wander from the terrors unfolding on the pages.
This is a series that has completely caught me by surprise. As I said, I’m late to the party but I’m so glad I decided to join in as this is a brilliant horror series, another superb series from Vault and a fantastic addition in the growing resurgence of greatest of all comic genres.
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek