"Lovecraft: The Blasphemously Large First Issue" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Written by Craig Engler
Illustrated by Daniel Govar
Colored by Mat Lopes
2015, 111 Pages
H.P. Lovecraft was a lot of things. He was a legendary horror author, creator of terrifying monsters, and an influence on an untold amount of writers. One thing he was not was an action hero. That is about to change with this comic. This re-imagining of the man is set in present day. He was never a writer, but everything he wrote about is real. He's spent the past fifteen years in an insane asylum and Jack and Jane, the Crowley twins, just broke him out to help save the world.
Lovecraft moves at a quick pace, establishing this world and all the monsters within it. The Crowleys are desperate to stop John Dee, Lovecraft's rival who has been making moves in the underworld to secure his power. It takes some time for Howard to become reacquainted with reality, shrugging out of his straightjacket and cleansing himself of demonic entities. Once he does though, he's off to the races. He's a man on a mission ready to kick all kinds of ass.
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Daniel Govar did a tremendous job bringing Lovecraft to life. When you first see him, he's a frail clad only in restraints. He's probably 100 pounds soaking wet with long, disheveled hair and a beard that looks like a bird's nest. After he's awakened, he becomes a grizzly man of determination. He's still a little on the scrawny side, but he could probably beat the crap out of you for looking at him the wrong way.
There's one panel in particular that really stands out in this transition. It's when Lovecraft is changing from his hospital garb to normal clothes. There's a shot of him from behind with no shirt on and there's a thick line across his back of what appear to be suction-cup scars, almost like a sash. He's clearly seen some shit. This one panel speaks volumes about the character, what he's been through in life, and the creatures he's encountered. He didn't get that from a little octopus.
There are a ton of Lovecraft's real world creations peppered through the comic. Longtime fans of the author will find a lot of references to his work, some more obvious than others. These are worked in organically and serve to build up the man's storied past. They're not tossed in like a Stan Lee cameo in a Marvel movie.
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Since this is the Blasphemously Large First Issue, it is packed with additional content. The comic itself is normal sized at about 32 pages. There are also sketches, pin-ups, thumbnails of every page, as well as notes on its creation. The entire script is included, plus a mini-comic about H.P. Lovecraft. There are even pages from the Necronomicon.
This comic makes H.P. Lovecraft look like Ash Williams mixed with John Constantine. It introduces a world that I very much want to see explored further with monsters of all shapes and sizes and intriguing characters with their own secrets and agendas. This is an impressive debut issue.