"A Walk Through Hell #6" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by AfterShock Comics
Written by Garth Ennis
Illustrated by Goran Sudzuka
Colored by Ive Svorcina
Lettered by Rob Steen
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 19th, 2018
Agents Shaw and McGregor are lost. They've been wandering in a dark, abandoned warehouse for what feels like forever, but it's only been a few hours. OK, that sounds like they got high and confused. It's much more than that. Time doesn't work the same way in this building as it does outside. They're also technically dead, as they have no pulse. During this journey they've seen horrors beyond belief and there's no real exit. Their boss, Deputy Director Driscoll, is tired of waiting and decides to march in there to find her agents herself. Yeah, this will end well.
A Walk Through Hell is light on the action, but it delivers the tension so well that you don't even notice it. It's largely made up of stories or conversations, as these characters have little to do to pass the time as they march on, so they keep talking. It feels like a Quentin Tarantino movie in that regard, as each one is sharing some horrifying tale from their past, like encountering a Nazi war criminal or a serial killer.
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These stories are absolutely riveting and only add to the unsettling reading experience. Writer Garth Ennis has crafted something that really gets under your skin and that continues with each turn of the page. Literally anything can happen to these characters while they're in this building, so you don't know what to expect. They could round a corner and find a murderous clown, a pastrami sandwich, or My Little Pony. All of those could be terrifying at this point.
Letterer Rob Steen guides us through these stories. There is a lot of text to dig through, but it never feels cumbersome or overwhelming. Instead, you're pulled in, partly due to the intriguing subject matter, but also with how the word balloons are placed to walk you through each panel.
Artist Goran Sudzuka has the unenviable job of making all this walking and talking look scary. The artwork looks a bit like a police procedural, which is not a bad thing. It's solid and by the book, grounding the characters in some form of reality despite their odd surroundings. The lack of a discernible background gives us the feeling that they're lost in an abyss. They're only standing upright because they can feel the floor beneath their feet, but that's something that could change at any moment.
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Unsurprisingly, shadow plays a major part in A Walk Through Hell. Colorist Ive Svorcina maintains an eerie tone, as Shaw and McGregor are shown only by the light of their flashlights. Everything else is engulfed in darkness. This gives of a claustrophobic feeling and hits at the primal fear we all have of the dark and what might be lurking within it.
A Walk Through Hell grabs you from the jump and never lets go. It's possibly the most unpredictable comic on the stands today. The scares come not from monsters or blood and gore, but with a slow build in tension that will have you looking over your shoulder as you flip through the book.