The occult and the supernatural are used so often in comics you’d think ghosts and monsters are on every street corner. Of course the level of supernatural can change things and when it’s lower key maybe it can capture an element you never thought it could. That’s precisely why this series exists, but is it good?
Survivors’ Club #3 (Vertigo)
Survivors’ Club is about broken people who all encountered some weird stuff in the 80’s. They’ve found each other, but it hasn’t made their abnormal abilities any better. There’s a deadly videogame our characters are trying to track down and also some living, breathing monsters.
Why does this book matter?
Essentially a super team with occult abilities band together to solve crimes. The horror is very strong with this one too. It’s like a darker Scooby-Doo!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The book opens and closes with very good horror elements. Both elicit a bit of a surprise so I won’t ruin it for you, but the opening reminds me of something out of The Ring and the closing is like something out of Babadook. Writers Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen unveil some horrific moments throughout as a character remembers what he’s done; they’re slow and absorbing scenes that rival anything a psychological thriller could deliver.
A major reveal uncovers where this dangerous video game came from too and it’s a hauntingly long story apparently; its origin doesn’t get revealed per se, but the location is rather peculiar.
This is without a doubt interesting much like Simon’s big reveal. Simon has a record on all of the main characters, but has a past steeped in horror as well. His is a slight bit less authentic though and it’s a fun angle to spin on him since he’s tying these characters together.
The art by Ryan Kelley tends to be lighter on panels per page, but damn does he draw the horror well. He gives these monstrosities odd proportions that are unnerving and the final pages are flat out freaky. The flashbacks go a long way in showing the video games evil travels to the U.S. as well.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Since the layouts tend to pack a low amount of panels on most pages the read is rather slow. Without the impactful opening and closing I’d be hard pressed to recommend it since it doesn’t feel like much happens. That means the bigger story isn’t touched upon nor does it progress much.
The ghost thing at the top left? Yikes.
Is It Good?
If you’re a horror fan you owe it to yourself to check out the opening and closing pages. Scary good! Overall there is a strong story here but runs rather slowly.