Action Lab: Danger Zone 2015
Written by Shawn Gabborin
Illustrated by Michela Da Scacco
Coloured by Yann Perrelet
Last issue the kids got the abandoned inn and it wasn’t long before we saw Shane and Rachel getting killed while Barry was telling the story of the Inn and it’s owner. Soon enough Barry went off and he got his head squashed, like a watermelon in vice. The remaining four college kids heard him and went to see what happened and the found his dead body. That’s immediately where we pick up here.
I really am impressed with the way the story is being told here. First thing Beth wants to do is find Shane and Rachel but Nick is too freaked out and is ready to leave. Tensions are definitely running high as they should be under these circumstances but the dialogue and train of thought that happens here is fantastic. I love how the reasoning goes in finding Shane and Rachel and who decides on who split up with because finally it’s like the kids aren’t being stupid about it but thinking it through. Of course they are in an abandoned Inn that has more ghost stories associated with it and now at least one dead body so I am split here with the decision to split and search the joint.
The characterization here too is a mixed blessing because you get to know these kids and yet you know they aren’t all surviving so you kind of get invested in them and one by one they get killed off, it’s a horror franchise after all. That’s not the only thing that’s amazing about this either because the interior artwork is effin incredible. These kids and their faces just get you it’s like they could be any of your friends it’s very take a person make em a comic character realness and that’s just a bonus. Still a huge fan of the ginger Corey though something about him just does it for me.
So there’s more to what’s happening here than meets the eye as well. Corey seems to be having stomach cramps, calling it indigestion, Sarah notices though that he’s getting that a lot lately. Not to mention that any of these four could be considered to be acting strangely as well. Nick seems to be overacting as it were with his fear or perhaps that is his defense mechanism to keep talking and not shut up. Regardless if there is more here than just the puppets because damn they are creepy.
I love the way the pages are laid out is fantastic with the puppets movements from panel to panel creating for the reader that sense of drama and horror combined to get under your skin. There’s a lot to be said for the idea being stronger than the deed but here it definitely uses both and the set up through the art can absolutely give you the creepy chills. You’ve got to experience this to really appreciate the subtle way that the story is told through both words and pictures. Glances, taking dolls, arming themselves it all lends itself to the story and completes the picture of what’s happening in a way that you just don’t get with only narration.
There is one hell of a twist ending here too and while in my mind now that it’s revealed I can guess why but we’ll have to see if I am. I love that we can get scared here with the anticipation of the story through the interior artwork, without the use of gore, and just simple plot twists.
Action Lab: Danger Zone now is right up there in re-launching a franchise in comic form with the best in the business. It could also be the new home to find great horror!