"Long Lost #6" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Scout Comics
Written by Matthew Erman
Illustrated by Lisa Sterle
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 2nd, 2018
Piper and Frances are looking for answers to their troubled past family life. That search has taken them back to their hometown of Hazel Patch where everyone is acting rather strangely. It's also led them on a journey through their memories to learn what really drove their mother insane. This is not a safe journey, as bizarre creatures stalk them, looking to stop them from discovering the truth.
I had criticized the recent issues of Long Lost for the lack of answers. This issue is the finale to the first arc and, while there are still many questions, it feels like it's coming together a bit more. This is mostly because we see what led to Piper and Frances' family falling apart. This was a devastating experience and up until that point, they seemed to be pretty happy.
The opening scenes show the time just before everything hit the fan for the girls. Seeing it through the eyes of an adult allows Piper and Frances (not to mention the reader) to understand the situation differently. A terse look between husband and wife can be taken in different ways. As a child, you might see it one way, but as an adult, it comes through across as something else entirely. Think of all the secrets your parents probably kept from you, whether to protect you or to not trouble you with worry. That's what's going on here, although there's a darker skeleton in this closet.
Artist Lisa Sterle performs an incredible transformation from peaceful tranquility to abject terror. It happens gradually, coinciding with the sun going down. During the day, the girls are playing innocently and then head off on a trip with their father. They come back in the evening and their mother is gone. Shadows creep around as bedtime arrives. Then the girls wake up after hearing something outside, only to find someone lurking in the woods nearby. It's a very creepy scene that is made even more personal when you see who it is out there.
We don't yet know the full extent of what's going on or what led to this change in the girls' mother, however there's more than enough here to dig into, like a good episode of Lost. Writer Matthew Erman is building an entire mythos around these characters and this world and it's super intriguing.
Piper and Frances's journey takes them to a weird, perhaps alternate version of their childhood home, as if they're being forced to revisit memories. The building is abandoned and boarded up, but they make their way inside, guided by a strange masked man. The girls are still way too comfortable with all of this, but at this point we're all just kind of going with it.
Everything about this house is creepy. It's full of dread and you half expect something to jump out at you at any moment. The tone in these scenes is pitch perfect and only gets more unsettling with each page turn. What other horrors are these two girls going to unearth as they continue to explore this place?
Long Lost #6 ends on a great cliffhanger that is full of possibilities. I have no earthly idea where this story could go next and that's part of what has pulled me back into it. It's a creepy, unpredictable read that will keep you on your toes.