Zenescope Entertainment 2014
Written by Latoya Morgan
Illustrated by Vincenzo Riccardi
Coloured by Fran Gamboa & J.C. Ruiz
First thing you notice when you get the first page of a comic is it’s interior artwork and that is a make or break moment for many, here it’s a make moment. The Queen Mary docked in Long Beach, California is the setting for this story and the ship really looks majestic as you see it from a distance. From there the people themselves are beautifully drawn and expressive the use page layouts and fashions work extremely well here. I’m impressed with this work and I like that Zenescope keeps expanding their talent pool and keeps things moving forward instead of staying with what they have come to be known for.
I wish I could say the story impressed me as much as the art did. One of the things about this series is that there isn’t one writer for the series so each issue can be hit or miss in the writing department. This the Queen Mary we’re dealing with a notoriously haunted cruise ship and honestly it seems like the perfect location for a Tale of Terror. Unfortunately for me this is my first exposure to Latoya and I love a woman is writing a story here but I got lost too quickly and didn’t understand where all this was going. Maybe with a little more seasoning and experience she’ll be better because the setting and the ship should’ve knocked this out of the park.
I finally don’t mind our mysterious Red Head starting off the story as she seems to be the catalyst for telling this tale. She’s rather abrupt and immediately sets the young couple looking to get married on the Queen Mary guard up. She tells them the tale of a wedding that occurred on board where the best man decides that they, the wedding party, should play hide and seek. A childs game with adult implications when champagne and booze are involved.
Instead of getting a complex look at the ghost of a woman luring the new husband to his doom it’s simplified as we see he probably shouldn’t have gotten married because she easily gets him alone in a stateroom and locks him away in a chest where his corpse remains. This was an opportunity to really delve into the myth of the woman haunting the ship and how and why she does this to men and women. Instead it feels like a PSA about the pitfalls of marriage and that men can never be faithful.
One of the positives is the dialogue is good and you see that the bride and groom in question along with the best man’s speech are nicely done but it still falls flat in actually scaring anyone. Aside from discovering a new and extremely talented artist this book falls extremely short of it’s goal instead of being scary or creepy it comes across as two argumentative women and a story about the death of a groom that serves no other purpose than to ruin the dream of a wedding on board.