"Cutter #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Top Cow Productions
Written by Robert Napton & Seamus Kevin Fahey
Illustrated by Christian DiBari
2014, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on October 1st, 2014
A string of grisly murders plague the town of Hatfield, North Carolina. The only connection between the victims is that they were all part of the same high school graduating class. Now, Jeremy is starting to worry because he thinks his past is coming back to haunt him and he could be next on the killer's list. He's got a baby on the way and a decent job. The last thing he needs is some psycho from high school coming back to destroy everything.
If the premise of Cutter sounds a little familiar, you're not alone. This is like a re-imagining of I Know What You Did Last Summer, only instead of a bunch of hot co-eds, the victims are a few middle-aged dudes. Jeremy thinks that Emily Higgins is behind the murders, seeking revenge for some heinous act performed at Prospect Creek when they were all in high school. They thought she was dead, but now she's back for vengeance. She doesn't have a hook though. Emily seems to prefer various blades.
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The true nature of this secret from the past is not revealed in the first issue, but there are some pretty big hints. Jeremy is desperate to cover this up, so he ends up lying to the cops and making himself look like a suspect by sneaking around talking to some old classmates. Next, his car won't start and he decides to go skinny dipping in an effort to win at horror movie trope bingo.
What does stand out is how writers Robert Napton and Seamus Kevin Fahey show the cracks that are forming in Jeremy's mind. He's tormented by nightmares, showing flashes of a girl (presumably Emily) screaming in terror. By the end of the issue you can practically feel the tension in him as he looks to confront his past head on.
Cutter is presented in black and white with art from Christian DiBari. It gives the comic an old-school horror feel. What's striking about DiBari's artwork is how normal everything looks. This makes the scenes with Emily all the more alarming. Terror and bloodshed come out of nowhere in this seemingly peaceful neighborhood.
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There are a few shortcuts that look out of place, especially with some of the lettering choices. Instead of drawing the name of a building, it's just written in with basic text. It sticks out like a sore thumb.
Cutter presents a pretty basic horror story that we've seen many times before. What has yet to be seen is how the creative team puts their own spin on it. The truth behind Emily's death and return has yet to be revealed, but it better be something epic to make the comic stand out amid the clichés of the genre.