Dynamite Entertainment 2015
Written by Keith Davidsen
Illustrated by Randy Valiente
Coloured by Jorge Sutil
Setting up a laboratory in New Orleans, Dr. Herbert West recruits Susan Greene, a young pharmacologist, to assist in his experiments. Still numb from her fiancée’s murder the year before, Susan hopes that her new employer's fascinating (yet macabre) work can fill the emptiness in her life. She's unfazed by his undead patients, patchwork creatures, and his hulking reptilian manservant, the Valusian. She even accepts West's means of funding his research: selling zombie brain fluid as a narcotic called "Eunique" to the Eldritch Krewe, the city's reigning cartel. However, her job satisfaction takes a frightening turn when she discovers that West was present at her fiancée’s crime scene. She suspects foul play.
Meanwhile, the crime lord Croceus Rex has been abusing the psychoactive drug... and gleefully communing with the fearsome Elder God known as Cthulhu. And the Gris-Gris Boyz, a rival gang headed by "Dice" Durand and threatened by the city’s new drug of choice, is determined to hunt down whoever is supplying the Eunique. Namely, the Reanimator!
I’m really impressed with this book. Last issue was packed full of information and revelations and Susan seems like an unlikely hero but one who is instantly likeable and someone who can foil Dr. West in ways we couldn’t imagine. After learning more about him and his watching her she’s taken to working out so she can relieve her frustrations while forcing herself to work alongside him so she can learn more about him. There’s a nice complexity to her and what she’s been through and where she currently finds herself. Keith has really taken the concept and developed it into something much larger here.
Randy and Jorge have taken the story and brought it to life beautifully. Tasteful scenes full of emotion and the attention to detail is amazing to see. Mixed with moments of intensity, Dr. West’s disapproving gaze for instance, and then the page when the Gris-Gris Boyz show up which is something special, then to seeing the real zombies and the death all of this really showcases such a range of talent, emotion and skill. It really helps draw the reader into the story extremely well.
There’s also something inherently wonderful and creepy about what’s happening here that just keeps Dr. West’s experiments flush with new bodies. What happens in the swamps with the hunt for Aligator’s whose bodies have this innate way of using his formula in new and exciting ways thanks to the reptile’s unique properties and the encounter with the Voodoo man yeah it’s just so weird and interesting. I love that West keeps a syringe of his serum on him at all times to use.
Oh my and the ending yeah that comes as a huge surprise to me as well but then we knew that somehow or another Cthulu and his servants would play a role just not like we are seeing here. Oh Herbert you’ve a lot to answer for in this mad quest of yours.
This is better than any movie made it’s more character and story driven with the madness and creepiness an added bonus but doesn’t overwhelm the story. Fun, frantic, intense and with wildly imaginative creepiness this story is amazing.