"Regression #13" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Danny Luckert
Colored and lettered by Marie Enger
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 28th, 2018
What if you were a serial killer in a past life? What if you were a part of a strange cult that has been killing people for generations? That's just the tip of the iceberg for Regression, which is building towards a rather bloody climax. Adrian has fallen into the background of his own body as Sutter, his psychotic former self, has taken over. He's setting into motion a chilling final move that will leave Adrian's friend, Molly, on the sacrificial altar.
This stems from the strange Valgeroti cult and their rituals, which become more unsettling with every page turn. The way writer Cullen Bunn has paced this, there's no happy ending. Everyone isn't going to suddenly come to an agreement and go live happily ever after. This is going to end in blood and violence on both sides.
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Artist Danny Luckert says quite a lot with facial expressions. This helps differentiate the various personalities that are floating around in some of the characters. You can tell that Adrian is not in control of his body, as his entire demeanor has changed. He's much more confident and sly than usual, to the point where there's a greasy slickness to him. He feels filthy.
Contrast this with Molly, who is alternating between rage and terror. She's tied up and held prisoner by this mad man who is wearing the face of one of her best friends. Luckert uses these close-ups of Molly and Adrian / Sutter that really drive home the emotional elements of the scenes.
That sickly quality of Adrian / Sutter comes through in Marie Enger's colors too. There's a darkness in this man that is highlighted around his eyes. That's where all the hate and anger lives. This again creates a contrast with Molly. The blood on her face is a shocking sight against her pale skin.
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Enger also lettered this issue and used a lilting word balloon style for Adrian / Sutter that works very well with his unnatural demeanor. You can just imagine his creepy voice coming in through in a playful yet dangerous way.
Much of Regression #13 comes down to tension. You can cut it with a knife as each character starts to move into the final act. Luckert does a fantastic job with the panel layout of each page, structuring it in such a way that the images are almost suffocating in nature. The images flow not only to tell the story, but to create an unsettling feeling in the reader.
Regression is pulling out all the stops as we head to the finale. The journey these characters have taken is nothing short of incredible. I would have never guessed this is where we'd end up after reading the first issue. It's dark and disturbing in all the best ways.