Dynamite Entertainment 2015
Written by Keith Davidsen
Illustrated by Randy Valiente
Coloured by Jorge Sutil
Dr. Herbert West, the Reanimator, has made peace with his assistant, Susan Greene. She had suspected his involvement in the murder of her fiancée, and although it was true that he had transformed Nathan Davis’ corpse into a zombie hybrid servant called The Valusian, he had no part in the homicide. In fact, he had identified the murderer as Louis “Dice” Durand, leader of the Gris-Gris Boyz, and orchestrated their gang war with the Eldritch Krewe simply to present Susan with the opportunity to enact justice for her lost love. She chose to follow through on the Reanimator’s plan – to confront Dice in person at ground zero of the coming battle. But will West’s defenses at Hamilton House withstand the powerful forces he’s lured to the fight? Can he survive the wrath of Voodoo hitman Samedi, whom he humiliated for weeks as a captive? Or the worst threat of all: Croceus Rex, the Eldritch Krewe leader whose blood he infested with the supernatural taint of an Elder God?
I have to say I actually like that this story is more about Susan and her journey with Dr. West than a straight up Reanimator story. She manages to really flesh out his character and make him more accessible and less of a recluse or seemingly like some mad scientist loner type. Sure his recruitment of her was more subterfuge than honest but there is a method to his madness and he did what he thought he needed to do so she’d better understand and free her mind to the kind of work they do. Honesty when it was called for but none really given until it was asked for may make him seem like a manipulator but here it works out.
So by adding into this whole mix the local gangs one of which has been supplied drugs by West, so they can be closer to Cthulhu, and the crew Samedi belongs to now that he’s back to enact revenge. What West manages to do to Croceus Rex is all kinds of wicked fun and based on their relationship and West’s own past experiences seems to be one of those ideas of poetic justice. I really like the way that the story unfolds it’s fun and sometimes unexpected and completely a joy to read. Keith takes us on a ride where you have elements you expect to see when it comes to him and others that will pleasantly surprise you.
What we see unfold here defines everyone involved in such creative and interesting ways. While it’s a kind of horror book it’s more supernatural blended with science to create it’s own unique blend. The personal stories and drama that we see heightens the reading experience and leave you wanting more. I can’t really tell ya what happens here in detail because you really should read it for yourself to understand how it all goes down and enjoy it that way just know that this is quite a well executed story.
Susan’s own part in all this doesn’t involve playing alongside West she has her own stuff to deal with and she’s dead set on seeking revenge for what happened to her fiancee. When they do meet up again towards the end of the story it’s clear that Susan and West have a bright future working together and what they two may or may not accomplish are tales yet to come.
I knew the movie and West’s reputation but I was never really a big fan and this series has actually changed that and I find myself loving these characters and wanting to see more of them. The writing, story, characterization, pacing have all been some of the nicest around it’s strong and fun.
The interiors are tight and expressive, they set the mood for the right feelings and emotions and while I do wish we’d seen more horror in certain characters represented the overall effect is one that works with everything else on the page.
Old fans will love this and those unfamiliar will be welcomed into the Reanimator’s world in such a way they’ll be here to stay.