Publisher: Dark Horse Comics (Berger Books Imprint)
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artwork: Jesus Hervas
Colours: James Devlin
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Release Date: 26th February 2020
This new Dark Horse series looked like it would be just the ticket to pique my interests. Sci-fi? Check. Horror? Check. Great visuals? Check. However, whilst each of these individual elements were all pretty good, the end result didn’t, for me at least, fall into the ‘greater than the sum of its parts’ territory.
We open with the victims of violent deaths and a gifted, but socially impaired, young man. It’s an engaging enough start which flips back in time to show the events leading to said shock opening. Our would-be protagonist is a musical savant with crippling social issues which appear to be managed by his mother (wearing coloured clothing based on their intended activities), and a twin sister with whom he shares an almost supernatural bond. I couldn’t put my finger on specifics, but all of this felt a little familiar. Perhaps not exactly from any one given source, but I couldn’t help but feel that this was treading all too familiar ground.
With main characters established, the set decorations were layered on. We have a strange plague with undefined vectors that appears to be only affecting adults. Shadowy spies and covert operations which point at this being a technological rather than biological calamity. It’s all good stuff with lashings of decent action, but without the hook to mesh some of these disparate elements together the net result was a touch too busy.
I said above about great visuals, and the team here do some sterling work. That’s not to exclude the writing, as whilst I may not have felt the pages set alight, the dialogue is well scripted and there’s a good chance this might suit a ‘younger’ audience or those who prefer the milder side of horror. Devlin and Hervas seem to easily switch between broody expressions to high-energy movement without breaking the overall style. Similarly, in some wordier moments the lettering never pulls you out, so there’s certainly a lot here to like.
This is a good comic which many will enjoy, but it sadly just isn’t for me. With an indication of where the plot is heading revealed in the ‘next issue’ instead of focussing on some of the established elements, we see yet more being heaped on. This is a story where, for my tastes at least, less could have been more.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster