Review – All Eight Eyes #1 (Dark Horse Comics)

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Steve Foxe
Artwork: Piotr Kowalski
Colours: Brad Simpson
Lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Release Date: 19th April 2023

On sale this week from Dark Horse Comics, All Eight Eyes is a thrilling slice of creature feature horror from Steve Foxe and Piotr Kowalski set in a New York City plagued by hidden eight-legged monstrosities. The series is set around deadbeat college dropout Vin Spencer who, after being evicted from his East Village apartment, stumbles across what appears to be a brutal murder, only to find himself dragged into the world of a strange homeless man named Reynolds who has been hunting and killing these beasts for years.

I really love the premise here, with hidden creatures lurking in the shadows of a post-9/11 NYC, picking off hapless New Yorkers before skittering back into the shadows. Both of the central characters are engaging in their own way, if not exactly likeable just yet, and it’s going to be fascinating to see what direction the creative team decide to take a story with so many enticing possibilities.

Foxe does a strong job with the characterisation in a fairly limited amount of time, establishing our two leading men and the world they inhabit very efficiently, and instantly drawing us into the arachnid mystery at the heart of New York.  The horror notes are well handled, and I like the way the scope of threat is established gradually via a brilliantly-executed montage sequence.

What really sells the horror of the story for me though is the artwork of Kowalski, who is rapidly ascending my “must watch” artist list on what seems like a month-by-month basis. The detail and expression of the characters helps to underscore the drama, while the brief flashes of eight-legged terror – including one particularly skin-crawling splash page near the end of the issue – are expertly handled. Brad Simpson’s colours really help in this regard, giving certain scenes an almost otherworldly aesthetic, while ensuring that almost every page is packed with plenty of dark, shadowy corners for beasties to hide in.

The final pages give us another brief snapshot of the scale of the problem, before seeing Vin and Reynolds setting out in unified direction with a shared mission.  It’s a simple enough premise at its heart, but the execution here is admirable and all the pieces fit together extremely well. Honestly, I’m a sucker for a creature feature, and everything about this series, from the characters to the location to the skittering menaces themselves, hits the mark for me.  Highly recommended.

Rating: 4/5.


The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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