Zenescope Entertainment 2005
Written by Pat Shand
Illustrated by Przemyslaw Klosin & Manuel Preitano
Coloured by Erick Arciniega
Lettered by Ghost Glyph Studios
Bloody Bones has infiltrated Arcane Acre in search of an ancient sword. With the protective glamour rendered powerless by the Warlord of Oz’s sword, all of the students and the faculty are vulnerable to a brutal onslaught. Kiera Carmen and newcomer witch Phil have already been killed, and the rest of the school is caught in a nightmarish dream-world created by Bloody Bones. If they don’t wake soon, the Warlord will come to claim their lives as well…
I have to say that there are more than a few pleasant surprises for us here. One is that we see Keres, Grimm Tales of Terrors hostess and two is that the interior artwork remains stunning throughout even with two artists doing half the issue. It’s no secret that Pat’s been weaving one hell of a story here using Arcane Acre to create a school full of students that rivals Avenger’s Academy or New X-Men so overall this really has become a must read series, once again.
The dialogue when she summons Keres to her asking for a favour. Yeah that’s the kind of stuff i’m referring to when I say this rivals anything on stands today. Such brashness and boldness we see all in the search of her son yeah it’s ballsy alright but it’s so well done. If Keres were to be written like this in Tales of Terror I might actually like her instead of thinking she takes up too much space.
Przemyslaw takes us there with his work on the first half of the book I mean Bloody Bones is terrifying like something out of a first rate horror franchise. Then there’s the sleeping students inside their dream attacks which I gotta say are detailed that I am thankful I have trouble looking away for fear of missing something.
Pat does something pretty special here with this issue and that is he manages to weave the story in and out of their dreams so you can’t quite place which is which. Not only does this give us some magnificent characterization but it also makes you as a reader pay closer attention to what’s happening to better understand how things are unfolding. Also the stunning return of one student to fulltime status happens this issue as well.
The biggest reason I really enjoyed this is because it showcases so much that has been and has to happen in Arcane Acre. While the adults have had one setback after another, what with Malec and now Bloody Bones, it’s clear they don’t have as much of a handle on keeping this place safe as they’d like to think. Also the kids are clearly targets, someone’s or something’s don’t want them to be grow up and fulfill any of their potentials.
This manages to create the right kind of drama between students and teachers, or parents as the case may be, and results in the kids bonding even further to become a bigger force to be reckoned with. Both are fantastic ways of keeping the characterization going and continuing to flesh out everyone involved.
This series and the school has vaulted the series not only back to prominence but to a must read status as well.