Vault Comics 2019
Written by Tim Daniel & Michael Moreci
Illustrated by Joshua Hixson
Lettered by Jim Campbell
When Chase Blaine's estranged brother and sister-in-law are murdered, he becomes guardian to McKenzie and Zach, the niece and nephew he hardly knows. Seeking stability for the children, Chase moves his newly formed family to his ancestral home in Cape Augusta—which overlooks a deep, black bogland teeming with family secrets.
So I am a huge horror fan and this is the start of something that can incredibly good, scary and downright terrifying. While it may have all the physical stuff, the foreboding family house and estate, the estranged relatives and a family history that isn't what you'd consider healthy. Over the years I have learned all that doesn't mean squat if you don't know what to do with them. Tim and Michael are more than qualified in knowing what to do with them and for a first issue the boys manage to put just enough into this that we see the pieces but can't get the puzzle any clearer.
I like the way that this story is being told. The story & plot development with how we see the information released as well as the way it weaves through these twists and turns while navigating the character development to bring us all the right feelings. I really do like the opening here as well as the narration and visuals may not entirely match up but it still resonates against all odds, no not really against all odds but it fits even though we get that impression it isn't the character featured who is speaking.
I have to give credit where it's due because when we see the narrator and learn more of the story it really kind of showcases this family, their history and foreshadows things beautifully. There is something about the way that we see the ebb & flow here that really kinds lulls the reader and as you look, read and understand what's being said, then going off-script to imagine in your own head what is going to happen (p.s. You wont be close to correct). All of these things interest you, engage you and without realising it your invested in the story. There is so much here to absorb and how the two aspects mirror each in a sense just increases this curiosity factor to a point off the charts.
I am a Joshua fan, not the tree either. I think the two different vibes he brings to us in the dual parts of the first part of the book has this yin and yang feeling to it. Polar opposites, light and dark it just is so well thought out and executed and right down the way we see the attention to detail. Then we get to see that house overlooking the beach, I mean I don't know if he's seen one like this or if he gets to create something he'd like to live in but it's beautiful. The linework and how we see the varying weights being utilised here is brilliantly done. So is the creativity and imagination I mean wow. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a superb eye for storytelling. The colour is great and how we see colours and their hues and tones being utilised to create the shading is great. The dark ominous feelings that Joshua creates suits this story perfectly.
This is spot on introduction to the series. It delivers an introduction the family, who's in it and how far back it goes while only hinting at the troubles within. One more thing, the slogan that father has passed down to son since forever is one you will not forget. This is going to get under your skin and it's going haunt you for a while after putting it down.
Vault Comics just has the Midas touch and now with the Macabre added to their repertoire their line it looks like there's not stopping them.