Brand Hull is a lawyer with a bad past. He’s not the nicest guy, and now karma is catching up to him. As he tries to live a normal life, he is plagued with hallucinations of Hell and unimaginable torture. As a man who thinks sin is a joke, Brand is getting proof that it isn’t.
This issue starts where the last left off—Brand is in the haunted house where he went to meet his son. Upon entering, he comes to find that it’s a little more than just a fright for Halloween. Seriously some of the most disturbing phrasing comes into play that will make any reader unsettled. The rest of the issue is pretty clear because of effective character interaction and a linear plot.
There is a lot less religion in this issue, but we still get some talk about the Devil and evil versus God and the holy. Overall, I’m pretty glad there’s less religion, but I’m hoping that it never fully disappears. It’s providing a good backbone for the story to be built on.
The real treat in this issue is Tony Harris’ artwork. It looks absolutely terrifying. Though there are some inconsistencies here and there, the art style that often makes characters look like ventriloquist dummies is beyond impressive. With clean lines and dark shadows, this issue looks just as creepy as it reads. The illustrations aren’t too realistic, but they sure to make the mind wander into dark places.
Eric Layton’s inking and Guy Major’s colors really pull this issue together. While Brand is in the haunted house, we see a lot of red and black, so as to signify the references to the flames of Hell and what have you. The colors do get realistic towards the end of this segment, but never really fully get to hyper-realistic level. This is in large part what carries the eerie tone throughout the story.
There is a lot of variation in terms of the panel layouts, and gutters are rarely left blank. They’re usually filled with some sort of bold design or another. Such variety in the panels makes for a really interesting book that readers simply can’t get bored with.
Towards the end of the issue, Brand gets a tip about how to deal with the “poison” inside of him (the ailment that the doctors can’t see), so we’ll see if he’s able to redeem himself. We also get a creepy cliffhanger at the end of the issue that I’m not quite sure what to make of just yet, but it sure does look promising! For horror fans, this series is a must-read.
Written by: Phil Hester
Illustrated by: Tony Harris