"The October Faction: Supernatural Dreams #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Steve Niles
Illustrated by Damien Worm
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on March 7th, 2018
The monster-hunting Allan family has returned. The patriarch of the clan, Fred Allan, has retired, leaving the rest of the family to solve supernatural cases and make some money on their own. After kicking around a few ideas to bring this tried and true practice into the modern age, they get their first case and it is a doozy. Are they ready to tackle a creature capable of literally ripping apart a bunch of co-eds in a bloody mess?
I had read October Faction for a bit when it started, but fell off. This is not a reflection of the comic. I just lost it for a little while. Fortunately, I was able to jump right into this new series, Supernatural Dreams, without any prior knowledge. You get more than enough to introduce you to this world and the Allan family. There are some nuances within, such as that one kid with the broken metal mask on his head, that I still have to figure out, so I'll be diving into the back issues soon.
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The Allans have lived off of their father's earnings from monster hunting for some time. Now that he's hung up his stakes and silver bullets, the rest of them have to figure out what to do next. They hold a family meeting and discuss options. This is the opening scene of the book and quickly establishes the personalities of each of the main characters. We don't know their full histories with just this comic, but that's not necessary for the given story.
Artist Damien Worm creates a spooky atmosphere from the jump. Picture a haunted house in your mind. Now make it even creepier. That is still a fraction of the scare factor of the Allan residence. It's like the Addams Family house had a kid with the one from Amityville Horror. The lawn and trees outside are all dead and there's a dark red sky above it. This is the house you'd skip if you were selling Girl Scout cookies because there's no way this family enjoys Thin Mints. They probably eat eyeballs.
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The horror the Allans are preparing to face is terrifying. A group of kids play with a Ouija board and accidentally summon something. At first, it's presented as a clean-cut, almost gentleman demon, then it gets angry and unleashes Hell upon this room, coating it in blood like he is remodeling a house on HGTV. Worm captures all of this carnage in a single full-page spread that immediately sums up the level of danger this creature represents. Ripping off a head with your bare hands has a tendency to set the stage pretty well.
Worm's colors are a perfect fit for October Faction. They're dark and moody creating this gothic environment in every scene, even those where the Allans venture out into the world. You can tell from the very first page that this is a horror comic and it's going to deal with some demonic stuff.
The October Faction: Supernatural Dreams is a solid re-introduction to the Allan family. This is a new breed of monster hunters and they may be in over their heads with their very first mission. That doesn't mean they're going to stop. After all, how else are they going to pay their bills? Get real jobs?