Dynamite Entertainment 2018
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Blacky Shepherd & Kyle Strahm
Coloured by Thiago Ribeiro
Lettered by Troy Peteri
For each man’s evils, a special demon exists.
So we now that Cullen is one of today’s most unique and prolific writers out there. He has proven time and time again there isn’t a character or genre he cannot do and with Pumkinhead that is once again front and centre. I like this because in all honesty I think the first film in the series was by far the best and they came out so long ago that there is a new generation ready to be thrilled and chilled by the demon. Cullen starts out with a chilling scene where Granny sends out these young girls to find the demon that calls to them, to control it and use it as th3ey need. It has that right mix of hillbilly belief’s that takes this to that level of creepy which needs to be sustained.
Over the course of time the girls grow up and become women and find husbands and have children of their own. Which brings us to now and current events in the town of Wrightson Mills. Don’t think I missed the nice homage there either. The Sheriff can’t see past a hit and run that involves a car and a buggy where a couple of were killed. The Kinkades are hillbillies and they believe in their own sense of justice and don’t want nothing to do with Sheriff Andi Ferris or her version of the law. I love that because she’s not one to be shut out, first she’s a black woman and a sheriff so she’s got a chip on her shoulder already and this treatment exasperates that nicely.
The writing is extremely good as we get to see how the story begins and has progressed to what it is now and how the introduction of the characters strengthen it. With some stellar characterisation right off the bat we’re getting to know these people and how they fit into the story. I mean how the town drunk in his cell gives out a warning yeah it’s the kind of stuff that while adding fuel to the fire is horrifying prophetic and probably why he’s drinking himself to death.
I have a strange affinity for the interior artwork here. It has the right amount of creative style that brings out the inherent creepy factor to blend with some fine attention to detail. I think the use of linework weights here is superbly done and only heighten the experience for me. The way page layouts are done so we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a superb eye for storytelling. Would I like to see more backgrounds, of course this is my battle cry, Still what we get is great and has all that is needed to to expand the story.
So the characters that we meet have that mix of Swamp People and the Survivalist types to really make this creepy crazy. Their actions and motivations are clear and the consequences of them are already being felt. I love the skinhead here and his superiority complex attitude which is the cause of the trouble about to be seen. Cullen is able to build up the suspense and make the reader feel the anticipation and almost beg for things to start. It is amazing to feel that want or need to see Pumpkinhead start to wreck havoc and this is why he’s such an acclaimed writer.
Cullen, Blacky, Kyle and Thiago all work together to make the franchise feel brand new and the perfect time for a comeback. Who suspects to get this level of horror storytelling just as winter ends and spring begins. With the back up tying into the opening here this really is a complete story being presented and it’s pretty fantastic.