Zenescope Entertainment 2016
Written by Joe Brusha
Illustrated by Allan Otero
Coloured by Fran Gamboa & J.C. Ruiz
Lettered by Matt Krotzer
After the disappearance of a local boy in Blue Ash, Ohio, things only seem to get stranger for new residents Sandra and John Ward. With their move into Sandra’s childhood home, there may have been more than just old memories awakened as they learn from the locals about the tunnels of Satan’s Hollow and the past cult activities. Sandra and John are trying to just fit in, but seem to be getting thrown into the middle of this local legend more than either of them know. Down in the tunnels, the being known only as the Shadow Man has been summoned and it looks like hell may be coming to this small town…
Now that i’ve read issue two i’m of a mixed mind on this one. I love a good ghost hunting story and I love watching those kinds of “reality” shows on the television. That Joe introduced me to a legend where I grew up that I knew nothing about impressed me. This issue opens up with Sandra still searching the grounds for the lost boys and comes across one. It isn’t long before Jacob tells her and her husband, John, the legend of the Hollow. I did kind of laugh at Blue Ash Hospital instead of Bethesda North but that’s a local matter.
I mean seriously this has all the hallmarks of one of those ghost/possession/demon kind of tales that can scare the poop out of you. As Sandra has learned of the legend and her past with all the mystery that surrounds her family grows into her “imagining” things like being called back after all these years is exciting.
Sandra finds the video from the boy she discovered and after watching it she and Jacob, who just happened to stop by and also watched it, decide to investigate the Hollow. There really is all these classic elements that really make this something special. The way this was crafted their experiences in the abandoned tunnels with the local sheriff's deputy it all has the imagination working overtime and that’s the scary part. Letting the legends and circumstances and shadows creep you out. It’s much more scary and terrifying when things happen and you don’t know if it’s real or not.
Plus there’s Sandra’s connection to this place that’s super intriguing.
Then there’s the end of the issue and it all kind of gets cheesy and goes to pot for me. Suddenly it’s like Hellraiser and I was not a terribly happy person. Suddenly it’s gone from this legitimately serious modern ghost story thriller to this predictable cliche of B horror flicks. That last page just made me roll my eyes and I feel like it slides back the modern take i’ve seen in a lot of stories now from them.
I have to say though Allan, Fran and J.C. do some great work with building the whole horror mystery, what’s happening, aspect of all this. I really like the tension on the page and emotion they can bring with their work. The perspective, angles and shading are so well done that I really kind of got creeped out so kudos on that.
Okay so i’m dissing the ending but i’ll see what happens next issue with it but if it continues with the Hellraiser leather-esque kink i’m done. I was hoping that frat boy mentality had gone away.