Friday, August 23, 2013

CBR:Quickies Halloween (Chaos! Comics)

Nobody comes out on Halloween night trick-or-treating in Haddonfield, Illinois.

Most folk pack up and drive up to Russellville, thirty miles away. It's safer for children.

Since that night the boogeyman came back home...

The monsters come out at night to hack and slash in these HORRIFIC reviews!

When the film Halloween H20 came out, lots of fans didn't like the way it took out Halloween Part 4-6 out of continuity (or in a "separate timeline", if you will).

To remedy the situation, Daniel Farrands - writer for Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers - was contacted by the studio to pitch in some ideas.

He then wrote a Halloween 8 screenplay that never made it far into production. The idea was to combined both the original Halloween 4-6 timeline with the new Halloween 1-2-H20 timeline. Ultimately a different film went up. And what we got was Halloween: Resurrection (and most fans know how that turned out like...)

But what would that original alternate story be like?

Shortly after H20, Brian Pulido's horror publisher Chaos! Comics was able to obtain the right to the Halloween franchise.

They decided to create a comic book based on that on-going project. The first issue was actually a self-contained one-shorty in case the movie would happen (this was before Resurrection).

But since the film was going nowhere, and the comic ended up being a little success they went ahead and produced story sequels.

All those were written by Phil Nutman, the first issue being co-written by Daniel Farrands. With art provided by horror illustrator David Brewer.

The original story would have followed Tommy Doyle as a protagonist, brought back the whole druid-Thorn backstory and explore Michael's childhood. Tommy would first escape Smith's Grove  where he would have been imprisoned for Michael's crimes, reunite with Lindsay Wallace from the first film. Together they would have used pieces of the journals of Dr. Loomis to help them against Michael.

And since Jamie Lee Curtis was only contracted for a cameo in H8, that would have been incorporated as a twist at the end of the story...

Comic title: Halloween #1
Written by Phil Nutman & Daniel Farrands
Art by David Brewer
Format: One-shot issue Halloween special.

The story takes place some time after Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers.

Tommy Doyle, the little boy who had once been babysitted by Laurie Strode on that frightful night has finally grow up. And faced the serial killer Michael Myers to live another day.

Writing an exposé book on Michael Myers, he was able to obtain the private journal of Dr. Sam Loomis who had been assigned Michael's case.

The story then is told through a flashbacks mostly taking place in 1963, after the killing of Michael's sister Judith Myers.

It tells us the time of Michael's incarceration at Smith's Grove-Warren County Sanitarium, Loomis' growing frustration with his little patient and some "accidental" death that happened to other patients.

Michael Myers followed Tommy Doyle as the young man picked up the private notes and journals.

And strikes him... but that is without counting the fact Tommy's always been prepared for a rematch!

Overall: This is a great opener. I believe this was to be meant to be a prequel/filler of what would have been then Halloween 8.

Loomis' narration is perfectly nailed down. You can hear his actual voice while reading those bits.

It's the story that had only been suggested up to that point, finally put on the page.

The tale of the young Michael was actually inspired by the original novelization of the first Halloween film.

The art is great, and even though the story ends in a sort of cliffhanger it works enough as a stand alone "horror tale" to warrant a place in any fan's collection.

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Halloween II: The Blackest Eyes #1
Written by Phil Nutman with Mickey Yablans
Art by Jerry Beck
Format: One-shot issue Halloween II: The Blackest Eyes.

Like the original sequel Halloween II, this Blackest Eyes picks up right immediately after where we last left our characters.

Tommy Doyle decides to hunt down Michael Myers.

Meanwhile we are introduced back to Richie Castle. Last we saw Richie he was the young kid who bullied and tripped Tommy in the original, before bumping into Michael and meeting the killer face to face.

He is now a failed real estate agent. Richie is thinking about going to the Myers house and burning it down to the ground.

Another familiar face from the past comes back. The old Sheriff Bracket finds Tommy and tells him about the Myers family history. Long story short, the whole Druids and curse of Samhain is brought back up concretely.

Michael kills off anyone he finds in his family home.

A bunch of modern-day Druids pops up to put a stop to Tommy and Bracket's plans. They get captured. Michael appears again. They blow up the church and Tommy gets out barely alive...

Overall: This one was such a fun issue!

By itself, the first issue was nice but nothing great. (nothing really happened in it) But alongside the previous one, this issue makes both stories that much more interesting!

Even if you don't like the whole Druid-thing, this issue present it in such way it both makes more sense is more interesting than it originally was in the film.

Action packed, lots of great scenes.

The art was a bit sloppier on this issue though.

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Halloween III: The Devil's Eyes #1 
Written by Phil Nutman
Art by Justiniano
Format: One-shot issue Halloween III: The Devil's Eyes.

Halloween III: The Devil's Eyes takes place two years after the end of the last one, with the events now taking place not long after Halloween H20: 20 Years Later.

Tommy Doyle finds himself now an inmate at Smith's Grove-Warren County Sanitarium. Why? The Druids framed him for Brackett's murder.

Tommy hears about the news regarding Michael's attack on Laurie Strode in H20. Tommy escapes.

He was able to send Loomis' journals to Lindsey Wallace, the other kid Laurie was babysitting in the original film. She now is a reporter and decides to follow up on this whole Michael Myers killing for an important article to expose all the truth.

The corpses of Annie Brackett, Lynda Vander Klok and Bob Simms (victims from Michael's killing spree in the original film) are robbed from their graves.

"The Shape" comes back to attack them both.

When they are finally able to remove the mask at the end, they reveal the unthinkable...
Laurie Strode was "The Shape" all along?!!!

So either you consider this story taking place in its own separate timeline or in-between H20 and Resurrection, considering this the explanation to why Laurie would be instituionalized after decapitating Michael.

Overall: The great finale!

Not so great to be honest.

I can imagine lots of people, mostly hardcore fans, not liking the path the story takes in the end here.

This story could have been a better alternate to the whole H20-continuity. But suddenly this last issue starts forcing the H20 connection so much it also seems to completely forget and never mention any of the H4-6 story details (Druids anyone?).

To be honest I liked the twist at the end. It's both unexpected and surprising. But it does seem to come out of nowhere.

This last issue sees yet another artist take over. Even though it starts a bit rough in the beginning, the art is much better later in the book.

This is the hardest issue to "sell" to people, but this alternate Halloween 8 finally comes together at last and is still a somewhat fun original Halloween story!

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score!

And that's it!

Chaos! Comics proposed a better follow-up to the series than the actual film series did in the end. It was fun while it last. It could have probably better developed with one or two issues more.

Fans of the series might want to check it out, specially those that are quite unhappy by the way Halloween 4-6 were thrown out of continuity.

It does a nice job at connecting the old storyline with the events of H20.

Shortly after, it was Devil's Due Publishing that obtained the rights to the license from Chaos!, and we never go to see these old characters anymore...

That's all for this time's Quickies!

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