Hello ladies, gentlemen, ghosts, ghouls and geeks galore we’re here this week to tell you all about the heroes, villains, books, games, songs and more which make a chill travel down your back during late-night excursions. And, today will be no different as we will explore one of the more forgotten avenues when it comes to giving an audience a good scare: Comics!
Ever since the early 50’s (before having to cease production due to the Comic Code that was put in place) horror comics were extremely prevalent, and fairly popular with fans of the paneled artistic expression. But, now the modern publisher seems to have place horror on the back burner to focus on other forms of genre fiction or their horror-based fiction just isn’t good enough to appease their audiences. However, upon closer inspection, there are quite a few books of the comic variety with incredible potential:
5.) Fatale, by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips
When one thinks of horror, one does not usually think of adding noir crime to the mix. But, that’s the reason this book is effective on a story-telling level, especially in the hands of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips A.K.A an incredible creative powerhouse.
Fatale tells the tale of a woman named Josephine, an immortal femme fatale, who has the ability to hypnotize the male species into becoming overwhelmingly infatuated with her, but there’s a downside: a cult which worships Lovecraftian-like deities is hunting her down through the decades (the story takes place in the 50’s and concludes in the 90’s/modern day)
My favorite horror-based literature stems from the mind of H.P. Lovecraft and this book utilizes the dark visuals and writing associated with his stories to near-perfection.
4.) The Disciples, by Steve Niles & Chris Mitten
Science-fiction and horror, such a splendid combination which is hardly ever utilized to it’s fullest effect. But, in the hands of Steve Niles and Chris Mitten, genre mash-up refuses to fail and each issue hits with an incredible blow in both visuals and an organic writing style.
In Disciples, a trio of intergalactic bounty hunters are given the Leon Kennedy-esque assignment to find a senator’s daughter, who’s thought to be shacking it up with a fanatical religious cult on Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. But, when the bounty hunters reach the daughter’s last known location, they realize that the cult may have provoked something far more terrifying than any of them have ever laid eyes on.
With sci-fi action and ghosts galore, this book is a must-read for any horror comic fan! Steve Niles and Chris Mitten really hit out if the park with this one and I can’t wait to see what else they have in store for the audience!
3.) Nameless, by Grant Morrison & Chris Burnham
Man, when Grant Morrison is allowed to go bat-shit crazy….. HE GOES BAT-SHIT INSANE. Again, this is another home run success for fans of the science-fiction/horror genre mash and instead of just going with something simple for a premise, Morrison and Burnham take the concept of Event Horizon (kind of) and kick it up several hundred notches until the meter is on overdrive.
In Nameless, an asteroid known as Xibalba is headed straight for Earth and an occult hustler (along with some astronaut pals) are sent to do whatever they can to save civilization. But, what they don’t know, is that an extra-dimensional being is also on the piece of celestial rock and, after being imprisoned for over sixty-five million years IS PISSED and wants to make sure everyone knows.
The characters are put through a series of horrific events which test them both physically and mentally as their torn from limb to limb and forced to cannibalize on their own family members.
Seriously, check it out. It’s one of the most messed-up stories to come out of Image in a very, very long time.
2.) Victor LaValle’s Destroyer, by Victor LaValle & Dietrich Smith
Social commentary and politics seem to be a frowned upon subject when brought up on the paneled page, but with issues such as the wage gap, racism at every turn and the steady climb of police brutality cases against black individuals in the United States, it would be completely nonsensical to not use the power to speak out on these issues if you could. And, by using the age-old tale of Frankenstein Victor LaValle does exactly that with exploring the horrific nature of brutality against Black Americans, specifically children.
After the last member of the Frankenstein family loses her son due to the actions of a police shooting, she decides to turn to her ancestor’s old ressurection science…. Something which causes a rift between her and the original monster as the story not only explores the love one’s mother has for her child or provides an apt commentary for the current socio-political climate, but it becomes an effective horror story in its very own way.
1.) Afterlife With Archie, by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Francesco Francavilla
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “really? Afterlife With Archie at number one? No way!” Uh, yes way. This book is absolutely terrifying as it mixes traditional zombie/horror tropes and psychological scares with that of the Archie crew, whose personalities remain the same as when they were first created and never faltering or unorganically changed for the parameters of the narrative.
After Jughead’s dog gets hit by a car, he goes to Sabrina The Teenage Witch for help, something which he would later regret as she attempts a ressurection spell on the pet but, unfortunately, brings back the dog as a zombie which, in turn bites Jughead and causes the undead contagion to spread around Riverdale like wildfire.
The premise may sound lame, but it’s like if Archie Andrews and friends got stuck in the Walking Dead universe…. Only more terrifying. Seriously, read.
Well, that’s the list of my favorite horror comics, what’s yours? Let us know in the comments down below!