Aftershock Comics 2016
Created & Written by Joe Pruett
Created & Illustrated by Szymon Kudranski
Coloured by Guy Major
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
Jim, Lara, and a newly awakened and freed Riley find themselves in a desperate dash to evade the legion of Black-Eyed Children pursuing them. To survive the night, they must trust a man whose past is as dark as the eyes of the creatures that hunt them. Meanwhile, Meredith discovers a frightening truth about her BEK captors.
This issue we open up in the kids prison where a beat down is occurring. We are finally beginning to see why this kid let himself get caught so he could be placed here. What better recruitment ground is there for the Black Eyed Kids than where they all massed and have violent histories? It’s a chilling realization that someone was cunning enough and patient enough to have a plan like this enacted. It’s also rather smart, scary smart.
Oh the scene with Meredith this issue is beyond creepy shivers. I mean c’mon this sweet innocent looking little boy is the master of the evil that’s happening and it’s completely unnerving to see. I mean kids aren’t supposed to be this evil. Though if we’re honest about it that’s a huge draw for this series because no matter how hard you try it creeps you out even in the middle of the morning. I’m not entirely sure what happened in Meredith’s past but this little creature seems to know more than she does and wants her to unlock that which she’s forced herself to forget. This leads up to the reason why she’s been chosen to chronicle these events.
Szymon and Guy do more than their fair share to bring this to life. Even without the black eyes what they do with shadows, shading and the downright mood, tone and feel of each panel on each page adds to that uneasy feeling. They masterfully create a world where you have very little sense of hope and it’s so dark, creepy and frightening. Normally I am an advocate for my use of backgrounds but the way these panels are crafted is perfect with minimal use. Though let’s face it the shower scene was killer with all that detail.
It seems like so much happens here but in reality we’re only getting a portion of the big picture. I like that actually because the buildup is filling me with this anxious tension and seeing what these kids are capable of doing and being just chills you to the core. I mean the plan seems simple enough but what is the big plan really? When will he let Meredith in on more so we see and listen as she chronicles his word and why this is happening? While we await that there’s still out there happening that needs continuing.
This should be THE horror story of the year. Nothing else has come close to sheer amount of unease, goosebumps and shivers I get when I’m reading these issues. Even better is the fact each issue seems to maintain that high quality standard, not dropping in any way just a continual tension that is irresistible.