Image Comics 2017
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Danny Luckert
Coloured & Lettered by Marie Enger
Adrian is plagued by ghastly waking nightmares. To understand and possibly treat these awful visions, Adrian reluctantly agrees to past life regression hypnotherapy. As his consciousness is cast back through time, Adrian witnesses a scene of horrific debauchery and diabolism. Waking, he is more unsettled than before, and with good reason—something has followed him back. Adrian descends into a world of occult conspiracy, mystery, reincarnation, and insanity from which there is no escape.
To start off I could heap the praises upon Cullen because of what he’s capable of but we all already know that so let’s get to this story. I’m not sure i’ve seen a story quite along these lines before and that alone should be something to celebrate. So I wasn’t sure what the title had to do with the story and honestly I had thought perhaps that people’s behaviour was regressing and of course in my mind that sounded good. What it is instead is so much better past life regression that leads to unlocking something dark and sinister?!? This is the kind of stuff I want to see on the big screen to scare the heck out of me!
Love the opening here it’s creepy and we have no idea what’s going on, it’s just there for the reader to take in. Then we meet Adrian and he’s well not your average guy. There aren’t much worse places for you to start hallucinating during the day then at a BBQ and to see such things as he’s seeing. If you must know it would make the Exorcist green with envy or Amityville seem tame that’s all i’m giving you. Also that it’s done in this way that we see what Adrian is experiencing and it comes suddenly, without warning makes it even better. It’s that jolt to the system that makes you jump and keep your eyes focused.
Danny and Marie, hmm almost but not quite going there, make a nice team here. They really bring to life the whole hallucination thing in a way that’s both creepy as the “F” word but still in a comic book sensibility. The way page layouts are utilised through their angles, perspective and even use of backgrounds control the flow of the story beautifully. Okay and yes I want to see more backgrounds in use they make the panels that much more interesting and full of that ambiance we look for.
It feels like there’s a lot thrown at us this first issue. There’s nothing more than normal but the way it’s presented gives you this oversized feel. It’s great because you become that much more invested in the characters and what’s going on this way. Really the structure and pacing of the issue is beyond phenomenal and it’s got characterisation to match. While we do spend a fair amount of time on the setup it’s needed to understand what’s coming. The transformation of Adrian as a person for example is one of the key things to look for.
Oh yeah this hits me right where I want it to and wakes up the amygdala and nucleus accumbens (pleasure center of the brain).