Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artwork: Gavin Fullerton
Colours: Chris O’Halloran
Lettering: Tom Napolitano
Release Date: 1st June 2022
Thom is about to move his family across the country, but their belongings aren’t the only baggage they’re taking with them. Thom’s marriage is far from blissful, and their son Jamie is seeing a monster in his closet that might be harder to get rid of than they imagine.
Okay, so James Tynion IV is a writer who automatically gets added to my pull list, and this is a title that should automatically tick a lot of boxes for me. However, with this being a three-issue limited run, I was expecting an awful lot more from this first issue. I am absolutely certain that by the time we get to the end of issue three that Tynion will have delivered a superb story, but with such a short run the first issue really has to nail you to your seat, and this just didn’t.
The first two thirds of the issue are taken up with introducing an entirely unsympathetic set of parents that probably deserve whatever is coming to them, while the last third is spent trying to build tension in a reveal that just doesn’t really land for me. There is a point to this extended reveal that you may miss on the first read-through. It’s quite subtle and once I got it, it did make me smile, but it could have been done in 2-3 pages rather than 8. This is, I think, my main problem with this issue. Namely, that it takes too long to get anywhere. If you’ve only got 80(ish) pages to tell a story, then there’s really not much fat to spare.
What I did like about this issue, however, is that while I absolutely loathed Jamie’s parents from the off, their character development is really good. They are painfully self-absorbed and apparently ignorant of their son’s pain, but they are believable. I am also a fan of the concept of the “monster in the closet”, and with this being a James Tynion IV title, there are a number of ways that this antagonist could develop, although it’s very likely that it will ultimately be in a way that none of us expect.
Gavin Fullerton’s artwork is solid. I’m not 100% sold on the “monster” design, but I’ll reserve judgement until we get further into the story and find out just who (or what) this creature is.
It’s Tynion so of course I’ll buy it, and as I said above, I’m sure I’ll end up really enjoying the series, but I think I would have preferred to see this released as a graphic novel rather than a three-part limited series. It’s not as if Tynion doesn’t have enough talent or pedigree to persuade Image to publish it.
As far as ratings go, it’s very difficult to just put a number on it based on just this issue because while this hasn’t blown me away, I know the whole story is going to be really good. I would say therefore that this issue is a tentative 3.5/5, but I reserve the right to upgrade that when the future issues arrive.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek