Boom! Studios 2017
Created & Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Jack T. Cole
Lettered by Jim Campbell
So last issue we met Ashli as she went to her first day of work at the Asylum. We learned it was understaffed and overcrowded and there was something not quite right about the place. This issue pretty much picks up after the events of the first as Ashli tells the man running the Asylum what she experienced on her first night.
So here’s where the lines start to blur. Is this man a complete and utter ass or is he truly a caring man who wishes nothing more to help. Yes i’d love to think it was the latter but really it doesn’t tend to work that way. Still what Cullen is doing here is really something incredible. I mean he’s made this feel like a classic old movie, not the black and whites but more akin to Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby, the Exorcist and The Amityville Horror. He’s found a way to make it seem that kind of intense involved classic where it’s as much the story as the subject matter that is where the horror comes from.
Jack’s interiors are very stylistic and create a weird vibe of that there’s no doubt. Whether i’m spellbound by them or not is another story and one i’m still debating. So it’s doing what it needs to do and drawing us in but then there’s something not so horror about it that softens the subject matter. This could be working to it’s advantage or disadvantage I can’t decide and perhaps that alone is my answer. Still the use of page layouts through their angles and perspective are nicely done.
I like the pacing of this story. It seems to be going at a fairly nice pace and by that I mean quicker than I would have thought. This means it’s a fast finite series in my eyes and it’s four issues or so. I appreciate the way things are going as fast and furious doesn’t give us time to think only react and sometimes it’s those knee jerk reactions that give away a whole lot more about how we’re feeling. Aside from that Cullen is writing this almost as if this were also in mind as a screenplay. So that the way it flows, the characterisation and how it progresses has this logic and way about it that also leaves room for the flashbacks or closer look later.
It’s not the first time we’re seeing an Asylum being used to tell a horror style story and I doubt it’ll be the last but what Cullen does with it already sets it apart from the crowds. The way the characters behave and then seeing how the staff act and are presented to us it’s easy to find favourites and those we wish to see end. However with any of his stories it’s never easy to determine, plan or plot along with what he’s doing, so we’re always surprised to see who lives and who dies along the way.
There’s something warped and twisted about this sure but at it’s core there’s something else, what i’m not quite sure yet but you can sense it. I like the way it pulls you in different directions and you see but it’s more opaque rather than transparent. It’s wanting to see what you sense that keeps you coming back and no one does it quite like Cullen does.