"Regression #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Danny Luckert
Colored by Marie Enger
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 10th, 2017
Do your eyes ever play tricks on you? Do you ever see something that’s not really there? Maybe it happens when you’re really tired, but probably not all the time. That’s Adrian’s problem. He constantly sees horrific images throughout the day and he’s wide awake. I’m talking ghastly things like cockroaches and maggots coming out of people’s eyes and mouth or a horde of locusts swarming through the air. Desperate for help, his friend convinces him to see a hypnotist. Now things are even worse.
The beauty of Regression is how normal it looks. Adrian is an everyday guy. The comic opens at a friendly BBQ with hot dogs and beer. This looks fun. Then you turn the page and one of Adrian’s buddies has a bunch of bugs crawling out of his eyeballs. It’s so unsettling and it works perfectly.
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Artist Danny Luckert expertly balances the normalcy with the terror, efficiently flipping between the two. Much of this is in the characters’ facial expressions. If you didn’t know better, you might think you’re watching a beer commercial. Pop open a cold one and OH GOD WHY ARE THERE WORMS COMING OUT OF HIS FACE?!?
Marie Enger’s colors work to cement this feeling. They’re not too dark or filled with dread. This is a normal world where these crazy things are happening. It could be in your own backyard. This makes the appearance of blood so shocking with a vibrant quality that you can’t look away from.
The idea that someone can’t trust their own mind is one of my favorite horror tropes. Adrian can’t tell what is real and what’s not. It makes him uncomfortable in his own skin. This disturbing feeling extends to us as the reader. You can’t help but wonder how you would react in the same situation.
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After Adrian goes through some past life regression hypnotherapy, something comes back with him, and it’s dark. Just thinking that something like that could have existed, let alone linked to a previous life is horrifying.
Regression builds to an unbelievable cliffhanger, specifically with two mind-blowing full-page spreads that hit like a one-two punch. If your skin wasn’t crawling with all the bugs, it will with these final pages. This is the horror comic to watch this year. I mean, you should already be reading it as Cullen Bunn’s name is on it and the man knows a thing or two about writing horror comics. This is some next level stuff.