Review: Daphne Byrne #3
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Laura Marks
Artist: Kelley Jones
Colorist: Michelle Madsen
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Reviewer: Tony Farina
Daphne Byrne #3 follows the titular character further down the rabbit hole as she becomes more and more haunted by the dead. The thing is, the dead actually interact with her and make things happen, but as her bad luck would have it, only she can see them. That is not really great for her. In Daphne’s time, as in ours, when people think you are crazy, they treat you like you are crazy.
I really dig the way that Daphne Byrne makes us question everything we see. Is Daphne an unreliable narrator? Is she a necromancer? Is she mentally unwell? We don’t know. This is Hill House so we automatically assume that she is controlling the dead or being controlled by the dead, but not so fast. There are plenty of clues in Laura Marks’ excellent writing and in Kelley Jones’ brilliant art that may make us second guess what we are seeing. It is a deft move to be able to fool the readers in such a visual medium, but this creative team is doing it.
Kelley Jones has the ick factor cranked to 11. I am constantly grossed out and I mean that in a good way sir. This is the most visceral of the Hill House books so far and Jones is the reason why. There are so many creepy, nasty images in this book that will give the faint of heart nightmares, as was, I am sure, his intention.
The pacing on this whole series is incredibly slow. Considering there are only 25 pages of story, it sure feels like there are 50. I get that the tension is being cranked up. In the other Hill House books, I don’t really notice as much, but here, it just seems like my feet are stuck in sand. I would recommend that it pick up a bit. I think, based on that last page, it is going to, so fingers crossed.
Overall, Daphne Byrne #3 is a solid comic. I really am sympathetic to her plight. She has almost no one on her side. Her loneliness is what makes her vulnerable. That last panel is really something. Jones’ art is creepy to the point of perfection. I am all in for issue #4