Story: Adam Glass, Olivia Cuartero-Briggs
Art: Hayden Sherman
Letters: Sal Cipriano
What They Say:
Mary and her Monster Hunters take on Adam and his creature, walking away victorious. But when Mary returns to London, she discovers the fight is far from over, and now it’s personal.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Adam Glass and Olivia Cuartero-Briggs have put together a pretty fun series here with the right framing of how to present it through the modern day. The book comes in well at five issues so that it doesn’t feel like it overstays its welcome and I think it could have been slimmed to four with a little work, but I like all the semi-epilogue material that we get with this installment. The book has been a winner since the start for me with Hayden Sherman involved on the art duties and I love his tackling of this time period as it further shows his style can be applied almost anywhere. It has just such a great sense of detail and design about it with some very smooth flowing panels that I get drawn into it very easily.
With the curator reading the pages in the present, we see more of the early 1800s where Adam has come calling again with the creation he’s made using Imogen to give him a companion of his own. It’s a rough and tumble piece that plays through the university where they are and I really love how the threats unfold, the acts of violence that feel earned, and the way that Adam gets the last word in before his own neck is cut. Everyone has found themselves guilty in different ways here and all are responsible for the darkness that rose. So, it’s no surprise that they actually do burn the place down and promise to not speak of it again. Well, outside of Mary going and writing about it from her perspective as we saw because she felt that the world should know not to go down this path again.
What I really like is seeing how she and Percy attempt to sell it as an actual book only to be told it’s too ridiculous as a first-person accounting and particularly from a woman. That naturally has the suggestion of a rewrite into something fictional with a few more twists to it and anyone who knows the original knows how you can bridge the two versions easily enough. The final message that Adam gave Mary also haunts her and watching as that dread builds slowly for her, knowing that there’s always some chance of something happening when the day comes, is definitely the right way to build that final tension even after Adam has been dealt with. Bringing that into the present with the curator as well with her aware of it through the pages just adds a great level of “inception-like” tension and fear that builds. It’s a solid ending to the series that feels like it’s strong and complete.
That said, as we get through some throwaway lines, there’s room for more to be told based on the further experiences of Mary. I like leaving the door open for more should the team want to come back and the sales warrant it. I know I’d be back for this team because it’s a delightful bit of gothic horror that’s well-written and beautifully illustrated and colored. I’ve been enjoying the mild resurgence of such properties over the last few years, notably with Penny Dreadful, and this series fits in very well with that. This series is another strong entry overall in the growing library that AfterShock Comics has and will be something worth adding to the graphic novel pile.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: August 28th, 2019