[Editor’s Note: This review contains no spoilers.]
Writer: Shawn Aldridge
Artist: Scott Godlewski
Iris has to confront his past head-on in order to save his family from the monster he helped create.
The cover by Tyler Crook is effectively creepy. I like how he plays on imagery and story aspects from the book to create an abstract and bizarre image. It just works.
The interior art is really strong as well. Mulvihill’s colors are wonderfully vibrant in a strange and dark way. Godlewski’s pencils and inks are also effectively creepy especially in the design of the monster.
I always love the conceit of the past coming back to haunt a person. It’s always such an interesting and perfect for horror because we all make mistakes. It’s a part of life. At some point, we all screw up. So what happens when that mistake kills others? That’s a terrifying prospect. What’s also scary is the mere thought of someone seeking vengeance for past mistakes. We like to think the past is the past but it always haunts people. Someone’s past never truly goes away. Iris has to fight that idea head on in the form of a monster he essentially helped create and that’s an intense situation to be in that people can relate to.
There is a little too much narration. It comes across as a little pretentious and I feel like Aldridge is almost spoon-feeding me information. It’s mainly a taste issue but narration tends to bother me.
The ending is too easy. Everything is wrapped in such a neat little bow to an extent that I feel the weight of the story is ultimately undercut by the end. There are no consequences or trauma for the characters. There’s no lasting change that resonates. Iris’ son forgets the whole ordeal, his wife forgives him for his actions after a few days and the sheriff just sweeps everything under the rug. Maybe the story will continue and deal with more of a fallout from this story but this felt like such an unnecessarily happy ending.
This is a somewhat disappointing end to the story. It still plays with a lot of the same ideas and themes and does so very well while featuring some cool artwork. However, the ending feels forced. I’m not saying that the ending needed to be horrifying and feature everyone being miserable but I would have liked to have seen the story have a bigger impact on these characters than it ultimately does. I think it’s worth a read but I would wait for the trade.