Dark Horse Comics 2018
Written by Evan Dorkin
Illustrated by Veronica Fish
Layouts & Lettering by Andy Fish
When four teenagers with haunted pasts enrol in Blackwood College--a school that trains students in the occult--their desire to enhance their supernatural abilities and bond with others is hampered by an undead dean's curse, ghosts in their dorm, a mischievous two-headed mummy-chimp, a plague of mutant insects, and the discovery of an ancient evil that forces our heroes to undergo a crash course in the occult for the sake of the world.
Holy mackerel I don’t know what I was expecting but this is so far beyond anything I could have dreamed of or hoped for. Every single thing about this issue took me there and in all honesty I not only don’t want to leave I want a haunted past and a place in that attic room! While we’ve seen things like this in the past we’ve never encountered it quite like this it feels like Gotham Academy and House of Anubis were duelling over Mystik U. There is an undeniable presence about the book from the first page that begs nee demands your attention.
Evan has achieved something that I don’t I have seen much of lately and that’s he starts the book with such a strange, ominous and starkly frightening opening and manages to maintain the readers level of excitement, tension and enthusiasm right through the last page. The way that this is structured is utterly brilliant and as it flows through it’s pages and we are introduced to the characters there are slight clues as to what is forthcoming. I haven’t been this intrigued and enchanted by a single first issue that I have ever read and doubt I will find one like it again any time soon.
So I am very much intrigued and thrilled by the whole idea of the dreams and the kids having them. It is like some kind of psychic connection and as we come to realise it’s why they were chosen not only to live in the attic, which by the way is a dorm suite and half which would make anyone wanting to live in a loft hella jealous, together but are there on full scholarships as well. Evan manages to weave in a few aspects of the story into what we see here and there so that they are like Easter eggs that provide what it is that could happen or could be revealed or simply that of importance for down the road.
Veronica blew me outta the water with this issue. The attention to detail in this was beyond sublime and the way she manipulates the linework through all these varying weights to create moments that are so intricate and so essential to the story is so good there aren’t adequate words to describe them. The Headmaster’s office that Blackboard these are things that you can experience and relate to another and do it justice. Then there’s the people and their uniqueness and the vibrancy and life they exude yeah it’s pretty darn special. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows us just how darn good her eye for storytelling is. The creativity and imagination on display here is awe inspiring.
The pacing of this story is fantastic and how we see the kids deal with everything thrown at them on their first night only gives me hope that the entire story will be like this. This my friends I can say without hesitation, welcome to the Summer’s biggest hit series that will be on everyone’s lips.