By: Joshua Hale Fialkov (writer), Rahsan Ekedal (art)
The Story: A man tries to come to grips with the fact that his father was a big-time serial killer while also dealing with his own mental health issues.
What’s Good: What a creepy story this is! If you enjoy horror that is more unsettling and psychological, this is something you should definitely check out.
In the first issue, we were introduced to a young man whose elderly father was passing due to Alzheimer’s. In his final, incoherent moments, he tells his son to, “Check the box” in the basement of their old house. The son does so and finds ~100 little dolls. That would be screwed up even if they were normal dolls, but these dolls are made from the skin, bones, hair & clothing of little girls that his father (apparently) killed. We also learned that the son is not that mentally stable himself.
This issue explores whether the son is destined to become his father as Fialkov makes him hear his father’s voice in his head and that voice is urging him to start killing little girls. The whole thing is very creepy, but what really sets it apart is how you just cannot tell how much of this “father’s voice” is the son’s guilt and how much is due to his own mental illness. Or is it really all the same? This whole situation builds to a pretty shocking conclusion to this issue that I won’t spoil. The pacing is really good on this series, as both issues have ended in a really good place that rewards the single-issue buyer.
Ekedal’s art is again perfect for this issue. This comic works a million times better without color (although it does have significant grays) because it removes all warmth from the page and let’s just the creepy remain. His renderings of the little dollies are disturbing as hell. You hate to look at them, but have a hard time prying your eyes away. Really good art…
What’s Not So Good: Nothing really big. The son’s face seems to change a little bit from panel to panel, but that would be consistent enough with the theme of the title that it might be intentional.
I guess the only thing bugging me is that we could be headed for an “it was all in his head” ending and I really hope we don’t get that. Maybe what bothers me is that I cannot think of another ending for this story. But, that’s why I review comics instead of writing them. 🙂
Conclusion: Creepy and disturbing. Definitely one to check out if you’re into surreal, psychological horror.