Dark Horse Comics 2016
Written by Mike Mignola & Chris Roberson
Illustrated by Christopher Mitten
Coloured by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Clem Robins
Young girls are disappearing from the British colonized cities of Burma. The trail
will lead a group of international adventurers deep into the jungle, to an ancient
evil power, wielded by the bloodthirsty Cult of the Black Flame . .
This story takes me back to when I was a little kid. When we’d visit my relatives my cousins would turn on those late night scary movies and fall asleep while I was awake and trying to be a big kid and watch em. They inspired a love of these old horror/adventure type stories that would stay with me the rest of my life. That Mike and Chris are able to capture that feeling for me again of being a kid and reading a story that has such classic elements and settings make this something special.
Then there’s the work Christopher and Dave do on the interiors. They capture that old school movie feel for me exquisitely bringing that sense of action and danger to the forefront. The use of page layouts with angles, perspective and the use of backgrounds not only serve to flesh out the story more completely but controls the flow of the story incredibly well. The subtle attention to detail here is marvelous and the creativity on display makes a great impact upon the reader.
We see how the group got their guide, Farang, as well as a little background on his formative years. The characterisation here continues to impress and I find myself reading the characters by trying to insert their accents into what they say. That they are recognisable for who they are is another huge contributing factor in my enjoyment of this so far.
There’s this almost delicious tension as they travel down river towards their destination. You can sense that they are heading towards something big, it’s the story after all, with the way the visuals tell the story. As well as with Farang who keeps to himself away from the rest of them. This kind of separatism kind of helps create that uneasy feeling when you are reading this.
There are many ways to tell a story, writers after all tend have a style all their own. The way this one is told with as much characterisation and build up as we’re seeing almost lulls you into a false security. You know there are things afoot and that they are there searching for these missing girls and yet somehow until one certain thing happens you are content with how things are progressing. This kind of building of the story is not in your face or overloading you with too much information it’s simple and effective in presenting the players in this not so little drama.
The calm before the storm is happening as this quintet finds their way to where they need to be. This is one of those rare entities that chills you before seeing what it that actually should and for that i’m grateful and can’t turn away from.