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House of Penance #3 Review

After a perplexing second chapter (to my feeble mind, at least), House of Penance returns this month with its third issue.

Is it good?

House of Penance #3 (Dark Horse Comics)

Observations

  • Even when Sarah Winchester is trying to show concern for someone, she creeps me out.
  • (…and I’m still pretty sure she’s got a thyroid condition).
  • Speaking of creepy, the inside of Peck’s mind is all types of horrific.
  • And yet somehow, Peck is starting to seem like a sympathetic character. Well played, Mr. Tomasi.
  • Do I detect some sexual tension here? If so, I’m not sure the world is ready for a Winchester/Peck romance. What if it lasts and they end up getting married–can you imagine how crazy their kids would be?

Is It Good?

I’m leaving a lot out of my observations, but that’s mostly because I don’t want to give too much away–particularly the great scene near the end where one of my major questions about a flaw in the house’s architecture is finally answered.

House of Penance #3 dives fully into the weird side of things, but unlike the last issue, it has a much more coherent story. We’re given in depth looks at both Peck and Winchester’s headspaces. It makes for some deliciously grotesque visuals, (all wonderfully drawn by Ian Bertram) but they also provide us with some much-needed narrative momentum.


…and a prime candidate for this week’s Panels in Poor Taste.

Sarah Winchester also goes full-on crazy, which is really saying something, but not in a way that reduces her to a mentally unstable caricature. There’s real horror and intrigue in how she reacts to the world around her, her own family, and whatever she feels for Peck.

Speaking of Peck, this whole thing is going in a very different direction than I imagined. I also wasn’t joking about Tomasi making him seem sympathetic. The guy has done some horrible stuff (which is gruesomely reinforced this issue), but there’s a lot more to him than I previously thought.

I’m still not sure at all where this series is going, but unlike last month, it’s not because things felt like they were getting weird for the sake of being weird. There’s a fascinating thread being pulled and woven through the rooms of the Winchester House that I desperately want to follow. Hopefully I won’t get lost again.

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