Aftershock Comics 2019
Created & Written by Mathew Klickstein
Illustrated by Evgeniy Bornyakov
Coloured by Lauren Affe
Lettered by Simon Bowland
A disgraced journalist is called to cover a mysterious story on an isolated European island. As she investigates, she discovers the children have taken control and are somehow killing off all adults by their 40th birthdays. Now, she must discover the truth behind the killings while staying on the good side of the children’s harsh leader…or she’s next.
Come it's time to meet the Children of the Village of the Damned! I gotta tell you this is the kind of story that in the 1960 was a science fiction horror lover's dream come true, forget the remakes nothing beats a classic film. This however while screams that in my mind is a very modern take on all that so who and what these children are remains to be seen but on the small Island Muhu, in Estonia on the Baltic Sea in a remote and secluded village the story comes to life. Oh my god Mathew really brings us the beginning of something that could be an epic in the making.
So the opening here is creepy as all get out and it just captures the readers' attention and while you go wide eyed in some kind of astonishment, minds really start working in overdrive straight away. No explanations nothing noticeable happens but still something happens that much much we know. Then for an added bonus there's half a second opening here as well and this one is the introduction to our intrepid Investigative Journalist Lyla. I say half because at this point in time what she went through is not for public viewing, hopefully it is something we'll learn later but already my mind says that that event was orchestrated by forces outside her control, which immediately leads her to this new job.
The story & plot development and the character development here work together in perfect harmony, and furnish it with love, grow apple tress and honey bees and snow-white turtle doves.... Seriously the way that we see information released and how we learn things that are going on here is just bloody marvellous. The way that this is written and how we see the impact the different characters we meet have along with Lyla's observations of which she's in no state to really question seeps into your brain and you just go with it. The pacing picks it all up and moves this constantly forward in ways that masque the dire circumstances all around them. Though I will wholeheartedly admit that the ebb & flow of the story is damn near mesmerising.
I might be in love with Evgeniy now. Every time I see his work I think it gets better and better and the way that we see the linework here through it's varying weights to create this attention to detail is stupendous. I think that how we see the composition inside the panels as he creates this sense of scale and depth perception utilising the backgrounds and foreground is beautifully done. By the way the utilisation of the backgrounds and how much detail is in them as they expand the moments and bring a size and scope to the story is so damn good. Plus the faces of these people is creepy as hell and boosts the characterisation. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off this bloody brilliant eye for storytelling. Lauren's colour work is a perfect companion to the linework. The way that we see the colours with their various hues and tones to create the shading and shadows and even some beautiful gradation is as visually pleasing as can be.
This might be one the most influential introductions to a new series we've ever seen. And with Adam Glass and his team around that's saying something! This gives us so much and yet nothing at all so that we are left thinking, comparing this with things in our own personal sphere's of influence. In some regards I feel this is an homage to a few horror films featuring children and yet it also has a very current vibe to it that helps it feel more original and truly terrifying. I can hear Vincent Price in my head giving us the opening and closing monologue's to the issue, I'll leave you with that thought.