"Fearscape #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Vault Comics
Written by Ryan O'Sullivan
Illustrated by Andrea Mutti
Colored by Vladimir Popov
Lettered by Andworld Design
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 12th, 2018
Henry Henry has escaped from the Fearscape. That's no noble task. He did it to avoid confronting the most dangerous fears because he's a complete and total coward. That may mean humanity is doomed and he could be unleashing all sorts of horrors into our world, but he doesn't care about that. Instead, he steals his dying friend's novel and publishes it as his own, then commits a horrible act where there's no coming back from.
In case you couldn't tell, Henry Henry is a total asshole. I continue to marvel at the hatred I have for this character. He's as hated as Joffrey in Game of Thrones. Henry Henry creates such a feeling of absolute loathing with his every action and thought. I want to make clear that I'm not saying he's a bad character. He's a fantastic one that you love to hate. I will read Fearscape forever if there's even an inkling of a chance that Henry Henry will get his comeuppance.
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Much of this rage comes from how Henry Henry is completely clueless about his own shortcomings. He is entirely infallible in his own eyes and he feels he deserves great glory. This is perfectly shown in the sequence where he convinces himself that stealing his friend's novel is meant for him, as if this is what he was going to write anyway and the universe just dropped it, fully formed, onto his lap. That is so very infuriating. I both love and hate writer Ryan O'Sullivan for creating this character.
A great example of this delusion is how Henry Henry overrides the speech of other people. This happens in the last issue too and it's a great effect. Since he's the narrator telling us this story, he controls what we see. There are scenes where someone is furiously yelling at him and a narration box is placed over their word balloon to say something nice about Henry Henry. You can see tidbits of the speech around the box and you definitely know what's going on. Letterer Andworld Design did a fantastic job with this.
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Henry Henry does face something from the Fearscape, which manifests into a horrifying demonic monster. Artist Andrea Mutti keeps this creature in the shadows for a bit, showing a constantly shifting form lurking within the darkness. You see bits and pieces of it, like large horns or sharp claws, but not the entire thing at once. This allows your mind to fill in the blanks about its true shape.
The fantasy elements of Fearscape bleed into our world with this issue. Colorist Vladimir Popov makes these pieces stand out, primarily the Muse, which appears with a glowing golden energy. She represents pure inspiration and a genuine goodness, which contrasts well with Henry Henry's glum disposition.
Fearscape elicits a visceral reaction in the reader. We've been pulled so completely into this world, both the real side and the fantasy side, that we're along for this ride 100%. I want nothing more than to see Henry Henry get what he really deserves. Based on the events of this issue, I hope it comes sooner rather than later because he is a heinous human being.