Review – The Red Mother #1 (BOOM! Studios)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Jeremy Haun
Artwork: Danny Luckert
Lettering: Ed Dukeshire
Release Date: 11th December 2019

Luke and Daisy are returning from a romantic night out when tragedy strikes. In the aftermath of a horrific and sudden attack, Luke is nowhere to be found and Daisy awakens in hospital, horribly disfigured and left to try and piece her life back together. As she tries to rebuild her life, Daisy becomes afflicted with terrifying visions of horrors at the edge of reality, things that should not be, waiting to get into our world.

There has been a lot of talk about this original series by Jeremy Haun and Danny Luckert, and based on this first issue I can certainly understand the buzz for the most part. This is a story that not only recognises today’s social and cultural fear and paranoia, and the way we, as a society, are becoming more insular, but combines it with the wrenching loneliness of grief. Once you layer the swift impact of the violence wrought upon Luke and Daisy and the sharp sudden flashes of horror that Daisy starts to experience you are left with a narrative that is multi-faceted and emotionally real, and with a subtle dread that gradually builds throughout the pages.

However, while I am completely on board with Jeremy Haun’s writing, I’m not 100% sold on Danny Luckert’s art. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part I like the artwork. Luckert has brought Haun’s story to life really well, imbuing his characters with heart and emotion and vulnerability, I just felt that the tension that the narrative is building didn’t quite translate as well to the artwork.

It may well be intentional and I could be completely missing the point, but there’s no darkness to the artwork. I don’t just mean I’m looking for midnight scenes of deep shadow and hinted at sinister shapes. Everything is very bright and clean and shadowless. Because of this, I didn’t get a particular sense of tension or the idea that ancient horrors might be peering out from a corner, which is pretty much the premise of the story.

I’m hoping that as the story progresses Luckert introduces more depth and tension into the pages as I think this has the chops to be a fantastic horror series that uses paranoia and insularity to nail you to your seat.

Rating: 3.5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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