Story: Tim Daniel. Michael Moreci
Art: Joshua Hixson
Colors: Kurt Michael Russell
Letterer: Jim Campbell
What They Say:
An ancient evil has stalked the Blaines for generations, darkening the doorstep of their ancestral home. For surviving patriarch Chase Blaine, there’s only one option left: hold his remaining family close and burn it all to the ground. But an old flame stands in his way.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The penultimate installment of this series is one that really leans hard into the doom and gloom in all the right ways that this property should. Daniel and Moreci have crafted an intriguing story in a dark, dank, and smelly place that you can’t imagine really spending any time in. Yet the story makes you want to invest more in it, especially with Hixson’s artwork that is just striking and captivating throughout. I really love his creature design and the use of shadow space in order to add to the terror here while Russell’s color design takes it the rest of the way, especially the greens of the creature itself.
With the weather having gotten really bad and the bog basically flooding, the house itself is now surrounded by the water in a big way. Chase and the kids have been crashing on the floor trying to keep warm amid it all but now the water is moving into the house itself. And that’s dangerous for a whole host of reasons, which has Chase going to check things out with Reese in tow. It’s unnerving when he heads down into the basement since it’s just dark down there and not much to see, but it also clues us in that the creature is in the house as well and paying attention to things. I do like some of the dialogue we get between the characters with Reese really trying to explain something that’s sticking in his head, but Chase is just full of trying to figure out what’s happening and his own issues with what happened within the Blaine family and his own abandonment with it.
The bulk of this issue, however, really does deal with the fight involving the creature. There are a few little nuance elements that fall into place as the rain continues and the darkness lingers, but once it makes itself completely visible and goes after Chase at first, it’s open season. It works a disturbing angle with Chase by appearing as his father at first, sending him on a spiral, but then it turns toward Reese and the other kids in the main room. That makes for a better fight between the flashlight and torch on hand that are used to go against it. It’s a close-up rough and tumble kind of thing and it’s really good to see Chase doing as much as he is to try and protect the others, though that doesn’t go quite as he had hoped as he’s overpowered and quite injured along the way, setting up for a real bad end in the next issue.
The Plot is getting ready to wrap up in the next issue and it’s looking like there won’t be a lot of survivors depending on how it plays out. The storyline is one that may be playing a bit longer than it should but it’s delivered such excellent moodiness and atmosphere that I can’t bring myself to complain at all. More issues of this series focusing on the weirdness and uncertainty of it all combined with the fantastic visuals from the art team are worth it. This issue has a strong fight sequence that plays out across close to half the book and it’s just beautiful from top to bottom in its design and look. I’m excited to see how they’re going to wrap this up.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Vault Comics
Release Date: November 25th, 2020