First published back in October of 1992, issue twenty of Epic Comics’ serial adaptation of Clive Barker’s ‘Nightbreed’ sported the subtitle ‘Circle Of Vengeance’.

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 third and final instalment in the ‘Hunters & Trophies’ three part mini-series.

DLS Synopsis:
Vengeance was well and truly in the air.

The naturals were out with their rifles.  After finding Leslie’s corpse in the nearby caves, Chester understandably wanted Benjamin Sweeney’s blood for mutilating his wife.  Whereas Sweeney was out looking for his next trophy.  He wanted the werewolf that had been slaughtering the people of Stubbsville.  And he was going to stop at nothing to have his fun.

However, Jonathan Giry still felt bound by loyalty to his old friend.  He couldn’t let Sweeney and the Nightbreed kill Erik.  He had to give him the opportunity to get away.  He had to give his old friend just one more chance – even after all then bloodspill he’d caused.

But Peloquin wanted Erik for himself.  The beast had been responsible for the death of his beloved mate.  He was on his own mission of vengeance.  He wanted Erik.  And he’d do whatever was necessary in order to get the revenge his moon’s blood cried out for…

DLS Review:
Here we have the third and final instalment in writer Gregory Wright’s ‘Hunters & Trophies’ three part mini-series…and by Baphomet’s Biceps is it a good ‘un.

As the subtitle implies – the story’s main theme is one of vengeance.  In fact, Wright’s immersed this whole final instalment in the characters’ finally exacting revenge upon those that have wronged them.  And as the above synopsis shows, the story’s got plenty of it going on.

What’s interesting is that no one single storyline has been given overall dominance.  The three or four parallel running threads all have equal standing within the comic.  They’re all about revenge.  They all carry the weight of past crimes and hurt.  And they all converge upon this one final and dramatic finale.

Half the way through the comic the artwork changes from being done by Tony Harris (with Mark Nelson doing the inkwork), to Max Douglas.  It’s quite a noticeable change of hands – with Douglas’ artwork taking on a rawer, more stylised and accomplished final look. That’s not to say that Harris & Nelson’s work hadn’t been good thus far (they were responsible for the artwork for the previous two instalments) – but Max Douglas’ style adds a further degree of gritty rawness that works so damn well with this type story.

I guess it would be fair to say that pretty much the entirety of this last instalment is focussed upon bringing about the final showdown which would also form the three-part-story’s grand finale.  It’s a bitter and grim offering – with violence and murder as the solitary meal of the day.

The comic ends in a triumphant and decidedly ‘Nightbreed fans’ way.  All those who seek vengeance are converging on the one spot for this final showdown, but Wright knows who the reader’s will invariably be rooting for.  It’s inevitable and pretty much a necessary outcome.

All in all – very probably one of the best mini-series’ of the entire original Nightbreed run.

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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