First published back in September of 1990, the fifth issue of Epic Comics’ serial adaptation of Clive Barker’s ‘Nightbreed’ sported the subtitle ‘The Blasphemers Prelude – Scattering Seeds Of Damnation’.

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 these merely continued on with the Nightbreed legacy – creating a whole new spin-off storyline that would eventually bring in aspects from some of Barker’s other work.

DLS Synopsis:
Just outside of the Canadian backwater, Shere Neck, the Nightbreed had erupted out of what had been their home in Midian’s necropolis.  Further down the road from the crumbling graveyard, Keenan Keeters was finishing up for the day at the local gas station he ran.  However, his last customers of the day were far from normal.  In fact, this bunch were just plain odd.  More than that – they were freaks.  And they were robbing him.

With a hand full of cash from the register and Keeters’ ID for them to tamper with, Mulciber, Aello, Oral, Fachan, Dagon and Piglet take to the nearby wilderness with the law hot on their heels.  But they will need to do a lot more than just run in order to evade Sheriff Serling.

Meanwhile, the High Priests and Priestesses of the Nightbreed have fled into the outback surrounding the crumbling ruins of Midian.  With them, they have the many pieces that make up their god – Baphomet.  And as Donny Smith will learn from a beautiful Nightbreed Priestess that fateful night, a glimpse of Baphomet is enough to destroy.

Elsewhere, Aaron Boone together with Lori and fellow Nightbreed refugee, Kinski, are on the search for somewhere they can call their home once again.  But out on the road, Sneaky Pete Loughran and his criminal friends, Wilcox and Jimmy, are up to no good.  But a run-in with the recently Nightbreed christened Cabal et al is likely to spell bad news for the drug baron and his looting companions.

But word of a woman who is like them, a Nightbreed named Nickneven who has survived in the natural world, gives Midian’s survivors hope for the future.  The possibility of a home for them all again…

DLS Review:
Following the final comic book adaptation of Barker’s Nightbreed story, Daniel Chichester (who was the consulting editor on the previous instalments) takes over the writing reins with this continuation of the comic book Nightbreed series.  Indeed, the various roles behind the comic’s creation have either been rejigged or entirely new people have been brought in.

Artists Jackson Guice and Alfred Ramirez have taken over penning the comic’s artwork.  The shift in artists is immediately obvious as is the style in writing.  And there is a very noticeable change in almost every aspect of the comic from the previous instalments – and sadly not for the better.

Bizarrely, the comic is split into three separate stories (no doubt scattering the said seeds of damnation), each one distinctly disconnected from each other.  The first miniature story involves a group of decidedly clichéd comic book style characters, like something from Frank Henenlotter’s ‘Basketcase 3’ (1991) only with a wholly-unwanted X-Men vibe going on.  Unfortunately, such colourful and anti-superhero-esque characters don’t do the series any favours whatsoever.

Similarly, the second section of the comic is a little too removed from the original Nightbreed storyline.  However, it does start to move into some welcome ‘Nightbreed mythos’ territory with the unveiling of Baphomet’s head.  Nevertheless, you can’t help but feel that this is somewhat of major step down from the previous four comic offerings.

However, thankfully we see Boone (aka Cabal) back in the fold with the final short in the comic, which although seemingly directionless, does hint towards the first stages of a longer story.  So there’s some hope in it at least.

Although, all in all you can’t help but feel almost entirely disappointed with this fifth instalment which continues on with the Nightbreed legacy.  Its remit was obviously to form something of a prelude for the stories to follow.  Nevertheless, some more direction, a tighter weaving together of the separate stories, and less clichéd comic book characters, would undoubtedly have had a far better reception.  Here’s hoping that the next few issues offer up something more in-line with the Nightbreed mythos we love so dearly.

The comic runs for a total of 28 pages.

© DLS Reviews

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