You ever get that nagging feeling that something might be wrong? That maybe your chest is full of bugs and and an Elizabethan pseudo-surgeon wants to cut you open to release them? Regression #1 is there for you. Is it good?
Artist: Danny Luckert
Publisher: Image Comics
It’s okay, Adrian, considering the patronage at that barbecue, I’d feel pretty queasy, too. But come on, man, hallucinating a biblical plague is no reason to take Molly’s terrible advice!
Okay, okay, I guess give the stage hypnotist at the comedy club a shot. What’s to lose, right? It’s not like he’ll unleash a flurry of past life trauma and significantly increase the amount of suffering for everyone involved. Surely.
Like many horror stories, Regression #1 takes a dubious premise and tries to do something compelling, or at least scary, with it. Writer Cullen Bunn does not bury the lede, giving us the gross on page one–a wise decision.
We don’t learn much about protagonist Adrian, other than he’s haunted by some kind of waking, insect-filled nightmares and has apparently terrible taste in friends, so you’ll have to bite on the plot more than the characters. His friend Molly is still a fairly blank slate, too, and everyone else is really just window-dressing to move the story along.
Artist Danny Luckert does his best to communicate psychological affliction through facial expressions, but many times his figures seem as if they’re “overacting.” Exaggerated contortions and extra lines abound, although the horror elements are well done. The man draws some mean mealworms.
Marie Enger handles both the colors and the letters, which both suit the story fine. The “buzzing” of the bugs Adrian sees seems a little too much, as silent visions might be even more terrifying, but that’s probably Bunn’s decision and not hers.
Regression #1 is a fairly standard opening salvo for a horror comic, although it could use some better characterization. It stands to reason that will be improved upon as the story unfolds, but for now, Bunn’s characters are rather thin and seem more like archetypes than real people. Still, combined with some appropriately creepy art, it’s an enticing entreaty for fans of the genre or of the creators.