First published back in April of 1990, the first issue of Epic Comics’ serial adaptation of Clive Barker’s ‘Nightbreed’ sported the subtitle ‘…Where The Monsters Go’.

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

DLS Synopsis:
Aaron Boone was in love.  A year ago he never would have thought it possible.  But now his life was finally getting itself together.  He was in love, he had a job, and he only had one session left with his psychiatrist – Doctor Philip Decker.  Things were finally on the up for him.

But when he attends his last session with Decker, he is shown pictures that were passed to the concerned psychiatrist by the police.  Photographs showing mutilations, blood, death – real life nightmares.  Images showing six families, all dead, exactly as Boone had described to Decker that he said were from his ‘dreams’.  Handing Boone some drugs to help calm him down, Decker tells Boone he’s got twenty-four hours in order to go to the police on his own accord – after that, Decker will be forced to go to the police himself.

Suddenly Boone’s life has come crashing down around him.  How can he be the monster that he’s being told he is?  How can he have this secret second life, and have absolutely no memory of performing these heinous and truly barbaric atrocities?

He has to get away from it all.  The hardest thing is, he knows he will have to leave Lori.  The one thing that had pulled his life together.  He loved her with all his heart.  But knowing now that he’s a monster, he knows he has no choice but to leave her.

However he had heard that there was somewhere he could go.  Somewhere that he had heard whispered about on numerous occasions throughout his psychiatric treatment.  They called it Midian.  A place where anyone could go.  A place where even monsters would be accepted.  A refuge for those that were like him…

DLS Review:
Here we have the first issue of Epic Comic’s ‘Nightbreed’ series.  Published to coincide with the release of the film, the comic closely follows the first quarter (or so) of the film; with much of the imagery and characters looking very similar indeed.

Writers Alan Grant and John Wagner have done an absolutely sterling job in bringing Barker’s screenplay into comic book format, with the pace and general flow of the tale kept taut; with a smouldering urgency constantly lingering behind the storyline.

Jim Baikie’s artwork is also very fitting to Barker’s tale, with the scenes where action or horror break out delivered with strong line-work and a vivid vibrancy, together with suitable bold colouring.  Admittedly, the artwork looks very much of its time, with the colouring done in bold strokes and the pen work left with a slight sketchy feel to it.  But if anything, this style seems to work well with the story.   It feels in-tune with the tale and appropriately raw.

As you’d expect with a comic adaptation, the scenes involving bloodspill have been ramped-up a couple of notches.  The result is a gritty and very much a ‘mature readers only’ type of comic.  And let’s be honest – it shouldn’t be any other way with an adaptation of ‘Nightbreed’.

All in all a solid first instalment into the ‘Nightbreed’ comic book series.  The scene is set perfectly, the plot has been established without any stuttering with the pace, and the overall tone has been stamped onto the comics.  A well-adapted and expertly executed comic adaptation.

The comic runs for a total of 28 pages.

© DLS Reviews

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