Image Comics 2017
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Danny Luckert
Coloured & Lettered by Marie Enger
Adrian’s descent into madness and horror continues! In an attempt to rid himself of terrifying waking nightmares, Adrian agreed to undergo past life regression therapy. Now it seems that something sinister has followed Adrian back from a past life into this one!
Adrian’s story is interesting on so many levels and not just because Cullen is making it creepier than you could’ve imagined. It’s because pretty much everyone can relate to Adrian in some way, shape or form. He’s doing his best to just get by and that’s a feeling most of us can appreciate that and the stress that places on you. It could cause those dreams he’s having, the stress, causing those restless nights and lack of sleep. Combined all of that with our own subconscious and fears, imagination and everything else well there’s a logical explanation for what happens to him. But where is the fun in that?
Normally i’m a huge backer of using backgrounds but what Danny does here doesn’t require them to get the full picture. That’s pretty impressive too at least it is to me, because the emotion and feeling that we get from these panels is amazingly well done. From pulling a locust from your mouth like one would a dead tooth and seeing the expression on the face it’s so powerful. If that weren’t enough he then throws in backgrounds in everyday life or the flashback or even in the gallery where that painting is utterly spectacular, with Marie’s uncanny ability to colour the hell out of it. He makes this so damn strong, powerful and mesmerising in ways that you can’t readily comprehend. Also Adrian’s near exposure moment was erotic as get out.
Adrian’s semi-transformation this issue is just the beginning. It’s interesting because he was already on the verge of discovering things about himself that he didn’t want to know. That Regression Therapy session seems to have upped the timetable planned for him, hence why he had to be taken care of last issue. From the flashback, memory or past life experience to his boss being the kind of man we’d all like to do that to what Cullen does is somewhat off putting and yet amazing at the same time.
The characterisation here is phenomenally good as we see him weak, vulnerable and afraid to strong, willful and in control and the difference in who he is fundamentally in each, incarnation?, is really something to behold. It’s not just Adrian either as we see Detective Anton Graymercy and his partner and the M.E. not to mention Molly all get the attention they deserve so that we can get to know them and find where they stand within the story and in our minds.
The structure of the story here is fantastic as the ebb and flow of the pacing and revelations hit the reader we become more and more enthralled in this world. Adrian’s life is turning upside down and inside out and watching him succumb to these experiences is not only thrilling but chilling as well. It once again showcases why Cullen’s one of the most talented and sought after writers working today.