"Terror! #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Alterna Comics
Written by Nick Montalvo, Spence Nicholson, and Josh Lobo
Illustrated by Silvio dB and Sam Wohl
Colored by Silvio dB and Anderson Cabral
2016, 34 Pages
Comic released on October 31st, 2016
The anthology comic is a tried and true tradition in the horror genre. Long-running titles like Creepy and Eerie established the short spooky story format decades ago and new books are popping up every year. Terror! from Alterna Comics is one such book, which just debuted on Halloween. It has a similar format to the classics, with a creepy host, Balthazar Remy, introducing each segment.
“From the Cosmos” is the first of two stories collected in Terror! and is definitely my favorite of the bunch. Writer Josh Lobo takes us to a laboratory not unlike the one seen in David Cronenberg's The Fly. A group of scientists are testing a new teleportation system. Richard goes in and comes back minutes later with long hair and a beard. It's clear that time worked differently wherever he went. He also saw some terrifying things while he was on the other side.
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Artist Sam Wohl is the real star of “From the Cosmos.” The teleportation sequence is a chilling set of images as you watch a man's body tear itself apart piece by piece. First, blood starts to spew from his pores, then you get a close-up of his eye as it splinters apart into hundreds of little strands, each floating away into nothingness. The return trip is even worse as the body pulls itself together again. Bone, muscle, and organs start to coalesce in a frightening and uncomfortable scene.
This is just half of the scares Wohl delivers. The other comes in the monsters from the other side of the teleporter. This is Lovecraftian-level horror that can drive a man mad just by looking at it. The first encounter is a sprawling mass of flesh covered in mouths, each filled with razor sharp teeth. It only gets weirder from there.
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The second and final story, “On the Lam,” follows a couple laying low after a robbery. At first they seem happy and in love, but then a variety of insects start to descend on their hotel room. This builds and builds, leading to an ending I don't fully understand. I get the gist of it, but I feel that I missed a twist here or there. It nails the tone though. It's a story that will leave you feeling like a bug is crawling on your skin.
Terror! is a welcome addition to the annals of horror anthologies. It's a fresh take on a classic format with two solid horror tales. I'm curious about Balthazar Remy's involvement, as he shows up very briefly and not much is revealed about him. In any case, if this is how the book starts, I can't wait to see what other stories it includes in the future.