Monday, August 5, 2013

CBR Halloween NightDance


I noticed a serious lack of Michael Myers nowadays. Chucky will be back soon, Hellraiser never left, TCM is still going on strong and I can easily imagine Freddy or Jason making a comeback in the next five years.

So without further ado, here's Halloween - the comic book series!

S L A S H E R S related reviews!

Comic title: Halloween: NightDance 
Art by Tim Seely
Written by Stefan Hutchinson 

Published by Devil's Due Publishing
From 2008
Lineup Halloween series
Format: Trade Paperback collecting the four Halloween issues by DDP, Halloween: A Shape in the Void, Halloween: The Silent Clown, Halloween: A Rainbow in One Color and Halloween: When the Stars Came Crashing Down.

In the wake of a return of the horror genre in the comics mostly thanks to Hack/Slash, Devil's Due Publishing was able to obtain the license of several horror films and produce comics based around the Halloween film series.

Would you believe it, Michael Myers is actually no stranger to the medium. Several Halloween one shot stories were published through Chaos! Comics back in the 1990s.

The director of the acclaimed documentary Halloween: 25 Years of Terror, Stefan Hutchinson first penned an Halloween comic in 2003. Halloween: One Good Scare was written as a celebration 25th Anniversary comic distributed through a limited release. He used that previous book as a demo to get the deal on this new DDP series.

With the film series rebooted under Rob Zombie, it allowed Devil's Due Publishing to explore Halloween, free from movie continuity.

Halloween: Nightdance takes place between Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later and Halloween: Resurrection.

It is October 31st, the year 2000.

Another Halloween. Another season.

In a town not that far from Haddonfield.

Years have passed since the night Michael Myers attack after Laurie Strode. Michael is now more of an urban legend, his myth even feared back to nearby Russellville, Illinois.

The story follows Lisa Thomas. A girl with a fear of the dark, traumatized by incidents many years ago.

But she is going to have to face her own fears if she wants to survive the night Michael came by.

Michael Myers just happens to cross her path and starts stalking her with no apparent motivations.

The Shape is back being just a monster. Pure random evil.

Killing in the suburbs.

There are no rules to his madness...

Stefan Hutchinson completely proves he is the man to bring the series back to its greatness.

Illustrator Tim Seely and Hack/Slash creator takes on art duty for this exceptional tale. He is used to horror and his style match the tone of the story perfectly. He does pencils and inking work, experimenting different designs throughout the book, depending on the mood of the scene. With superb coloring from Elizabeth John.

By going back to the suburbs Hutchinson gets away from any past continuity, returning this Halloween comic to a tone much closer to the 1978 John Carpenter film. Back before overly complicated backstories where introduced and Laurie turned into his sibling.

Back when Michael appear to be just a random deadly scary stalker. He gets a fixation on Lisa like he did in the 1978 original with Laurie. For absolutely no apparent reason.

And it makes this Halloween: NightDance Michael Myers that much scarier.

It's a great story, with terrific writing and interesting character the genre isn't used us to have. With plenty of gore and shock value.

The trade paperback also contains a bonus cover art gallery. (the issues had enough variant covers to warrant that)

The book also collects the original short story "Charlie". Which is a short text narrative printed at the end. It tells the legend that was briefly alluded back in the original film in the graveyard scene, which Dr. Loomis interrupts.

Overall, it's a fantastic return to the tension and the terror of the original Halloween.

A great story set after the events of H20, much better than Resurrection or the modern reboot to be honest.

This is meant to be the first volume in a new DDP Halloween series telling brand new tales Michael Myers, free from any constraints of continuity of film canon.

The Shape is back to haunt the suburbs, in scarier tales than ever.

I give it:
2.5 / 3 ManThings!

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