First published back in July of 1992, issue seventeen Epic Comics’ serial adaptation of Clive Barker’s ‘Nightbreed’ sported the subtitle ‘Midnight Snack’.

The first four issues of the ‘Nightbreed’ comics closely followed the storyline of the film, only slightly veering away from it with minor details.  The twenty-one issues that followed continued on with the Nightbreed legacy – creating whole new spin-off storylines that would eventually bring in aspects from some of Barker’s other work.

This issue was the first standalone story to be included in the series.

DLS Synopsis:
After Cabal’s destruction of Midian, the surviving Nightbreed hid away, sticking to the laws and opening the rules of the night.  However there were those who chose to veer from the path and Baphomet’s commandments.  Some who even existed amongst the naturals, tempting themselves with what had long been forbidden…the eating of human flesh.

Ignatius was one such Nightbreed.  He had made a nest within the Ratz-B-Gon factory.  A cesspit of grime and gluttony where Ignatius could feed his constant hunger, away from prying eyes.  He had no requirement for well-kept surroundings.  Blind and a loner – Ignatius had no need for the finer things in life.  He just needed food.

But his mother worried about him.  She knew why he stayed there in the shadowy corners of the big city.  She could smell it on his breath.  The hunger.  She told him the Messiah could cure him.  If only he’d come with them.

But Ignatius wouldn’t listen.  He knew the law.  He knew what he wasn’t to do.  But a little taste here and there.  A nibble of discarded flesh and a lick of spilt blood, didn’t count.  Right?  He just had to appease that incessant hunger of his.  Surely what he was doing couldn’t do any harm?  Not for a shape-shifter like him…


DLS Review:
Larry Wachowski takes over the writing reins with this next instalment in the Nightbreed comics.  Where Daniel G. Chichester wrote his stories via mini-four-part series’, Wachowski instead offers up the first standalone story to be included in the series.  It’s noticeably different.  Much more condensed, with a singular story delivered with absolute purpose.

The atmosphere from the start is spot on for a Nightbreed offering.  On page one Wachowski echoes the Nightbreed mythos before getting straight on with the premise for his own contributory offering.  Here we see Wachowski’s new character – Ignatius – a grotesque fat man who’s permanently suffering from a never-ending hunger.  Of course no amount of snacks can sate this bloated breed’s all-consuming hunger.  Because Ignatius craves for something else.  Forbidden to the Nightbreed: human flesh.

Wachowski manages to bring out a gradually building sense of tension in the comic, with an urgency that goes from quietly simmering to bubbling over through the course of the tale.  It’s executed near-perfectly.  The use of echoing conversations and poignant words, rattling around in the character’s head as it reaches snapping point.

There’s not much in the way of action or bloodspill in the story.  As I said, it’s a very singular narrative that gradually mounts through the tale.  That said, Wachowski throws down one bitch of a finale that ends the comic in a wonderfully dark and masterfully executed way.

Andy Paquette and Ron McCain’s illustrative artwork is your typical comic book style – rich with colour within the detailed yet quite expressive linework.  It complements Wachowski’s story well.

To be honest the comic feels like it’s a particularly short read.  It is shorter than most of the Nightbreed comics thus far, with the story itself only running for 24 pages (as opposed to the usual 28 pages).  However I’d say it’s more the constantly building momentum and the utterly compelling storyline that makes it seem to rush by so quickly.

The comic runs for a total of 24 pages (plus an additional two pages for the usual ‘Breeding Ground’ readers’ letters, as well as a three page gallery exhibiting artist Bret Blevins’ glorious cover artwork).

© DLS Reviews

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