Written by: Matt Molgaard
It’s been some time since I jumped back into the Creepy mix, and truth be told, I’ve only read one single issue of Dark Horse’s new reboot. But I enjoyed the contemporary work, which tells me it is time to get back on board full time. While some catchup will be required, today the mission begins with the brand new issue, number 21.
The book includes three key tales, The Dance, Thing of Darkness and The Binding Ceremony, and for the most part all three are impressive works. The Dance is a fun spin (written by the talented Jeff Parker) on the age old ghost on the side of the road trope, but it’s done very well, with sharp artwork (from Sandy Jarrell) and a speedy, fluid narrative. The twist at the end isn’t necessarily unexpected, but it is well-executed.
Thing of Darkness looks to keep the momentum alive while taking us on an entirely different kind of journey. In the story Avery encounters something of evil subterranean nature, but who will believe the dark truths he possesses, and can he successfully keep himself out of the dark, alive? An encounter with a hideous monster leads to emotional and mental turmoil for Avery, whose future may be every bit as dark as the blackness that houses the unspeakable. While Gene Colan’s artwork has a magnetic vintage quality about it, Archie Goodwin’s story feels as though it could be tightened up a hair. It’s a fine concept, but there isn’t much of a twist and the narration feels just a tad cluttered. It’s not a bad installment by any means, but it isn’t the book’s shining light (I had to do it).
Vera Greentea writes the book’s final story, The Binding Ceremony, and unlike Thing of Darkness, it impresses on every level. From Sandra Lanz’s stunning artwork to the kind of twist we expect, this tale of a young couple who seek to be united for eternity – and get their wish – is a glorious piece of fiction. This one is a bit shorter than I’d prefer (and there’s room to see the story expanded, no doubt), but it is a winner, and an impressive way to bring issue #21 to a close.
Thing of Darkness ultimately drops the rating on this one just a hair. That however doesn’t mean the book isn’t worth looking into. It works to send chills down the spine and it has the vintage charm you’d hope for – and even expect, from a Creepy book. Look into it, it’s available right here.