"The House #7" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Sucker Punch Productions
Written by Phillip Sevy
Illustrated by Drew Zucker
Colored by Jen Hickman
2017, 44 Pages, $1.99
Comic released on October 4th, 2017
A group of World War II soldiers seek refuge in a strange house in the woods only to find the building turning against them. Bizarre things happen. The interior seems to twist and turn, confusing them as they make their way through it. When they think they escaped, they only find that they are still inside. Then the ghosts show up and things have gotten even more unsettling. Now, as The House faces its final chapter, I wonder if any of the soldiers will make it out alive.
Although The House starts with a group of characters, Harker has taken the role of the main one. The previous issue and this one delve into his background more to flesh him out a bit. My only real criticism of this series has been the uneven character development. With the house being more of a central character than the soldiers, it is more important to understand that then the people within in. After all, they are all probably going to be torn apart, right?
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Harker's story adds a personal touch to The House and brings that human connection. I just wish it had come a little sooner than the last two chapters. What makes his tale stand out is how deeply affected he is by the house. This strange residence reaches into his very soul. That shakes him to his core and forces him to question reality itself. This aspect is what elevates The House to new levels of terror and it's seen especially in the final moments of the comic. I don't want to spoil it here, but suffice it to say that that uneasy feeling never goes away. It's reminiscent of some of the best moments from the Nightmare on Elm Street series in this regard.
This resolution is seen on Harker's face as he struggles with his surroundings. He's forced to face his greatest fears and regrets all merged together into a monster. Somehow, he finds the strength to soldier on.
The “Big Bad” at the heart of the house is otherworldly and terrifying. Artist Drew Zucker really lets loose, illustrating an unholy abomination that's like something out of a Junji Ito manga. Limbs are stretched to inhuman lengths. Strange growths cover the body, like massive tumors ready to burst. It seems capable of tearing you apart, but you'd be more scared to even touch it.
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This monstrosity is completed with Jen Hickman's colors. The scene takes place in a cave of sorts deep beneath the house, so light is sparse. The being is dark and gruesome, like it's covered in blood and dirt. There's just the right amount of shadow to mask some of its details, adding a bit of mystery to its full form.
I had no inkling as to how The House was going to wrap up its stellar – and terrifying – run. I'm happy to say that it delivers a satisfying conclusion that not only closes out this chapter, but leaves the universe open to be explored further at a later date. Writer Phillip Sevy and artist Drew Zucker make a great team and they've shown themselves capable of creating some top notch horror.
At the time of this writing, Sevy and Zucker are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to collect the entire series of The House in a graphic novel format.