First published back in August of 1992, issue eighteen of Epic Comics’ serial adaptation of Clive Barker’s ‘Nightbreed’ sported the subtitle ‘The Call Of The Wild’.

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 formed the first instalment in the ‘Hunters & Trophies’ three part mini-series.

DLS Synopsis:
In the dead of the night, with the full moon shining down upon Stubbsville, a bloodcurdling howl can be heard echoing around the small snow-covered town.  The locals know what stalks through the cold shadows of their hometown.  There have been enough victims to the beast for them to fear the streets and nearby woodlands when the moon hangs full in the darkened sky.  They know the ferocious power of the werewolf.

However, there are some newcomers to Stubbsville.  The Nightbreed have arrived, still seeking a sanctuary where they might live without persecution.  A quest that has not only been hampered by the natural world, but also by rebels within their own ranks who have gone against Baphomet’s law.

With another local keeled at the claws of the prowling werewolf, Stubbsville’s townspeople decide it’s time they finally did something about the beast that stalks their streets after nightfall.  But there’s one man among their ranks – a lone visitor to the town – who relishes the challenge.  Benjamin Sweeney – self-proclaimed hunter extraordinaire.  With his knife in hand, he offers to take down the beast merely for the sport of it.

But night holds more beasts than just this one werewolf.  Hunting season is well and truly open…

DLS Review:
Writer Gregory Wright joins the ranks of Nightbreed comic writers with his lycanthropic tale, pitting the Nightbreed not only against a savage werewolf, but also a hard-boiled hunter.  It’s a story that promises plenty of horror and fast-paced action…and I have to say, Wright certainly delivers the goods with this first instalment in the three-part mini-series.

The backdrop is your typical isolated All-American backwoods town, full of hardy yokels and late-night boozing.  It’s the perfect setting for a ‘hunter-becomes-the-hunted’ style of plot.  And that’s without the added element of the Nightbreed!

The comic’s quick to get stuck in with the ferocious action.  We’ve got a feral beast stalking the woodlands and darkened streets of the quiet and isolated town.  From here it’s not long until we’ve got the first spill of blood splattering the snow-covered backstreets of Stubbsville.  Of course, the slaughter doesn’t end there – and next up is one of the Breed’s own.

However it’s when hunter extraordinaire Benjamin Sweeney takes up the challenge of killing the werewolf that things really start to heat up.  Sweeney’s an instantly dislikeable cold-hearted killer with trophies and the thrill-of-the-kill pushing him to take up the challenge.

As you’d imagine, the three elements rolled into one story make for one heck of an entertaining read.  There’s plenty going on, and bucket loads of action to keep the pace roaring onwards.  Furthermore, for an opening instalment, it really sets the ball rolling for plenty more to come.  And all I say to that is ‘bring it on!’

The comic runs for a total of 28 pages (plus an additional page for the usual ‘Breeding Ground’ readers’ letters).

© DLS Reviews

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