ModernPanther's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics: The Gathering Reviews: 47
7.6Avg. Review Rating

6.0
2000AD #2042

Aug 3, 2017

The Alienist starts this prog, as psychic detectives investigate an unexplained death in 1908 England. It starts well, establishing characters quickly whilst hinting at the slightly askew world where magic simmers just below the surface and dark forces are quietly at work. The Alienist is a bit different from everything else in this prog, but certainly looks like it could be special.

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6.0
2000AD #2042

Aug 5, 2017

The Alienist starts this prog, as psychic detectives investigate an unexplained death in 1908 England. It starts well, establishing characters quickly whilst hinting at the slightly askew world where magic simmers just below the surface and dark forces are quietly at work.

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6.0
2000AD #2043

Aug 7, 2017

The Hunted comes to an end, just as it felt it was started to heat up. The villainous Traitor General shows just how much he is willing to sacrifice to achieve his goal of ending the war on Nu Earth, but the many threads which lead us here seem to be cut quite suddenly and we are left hanging until the next arc begins.

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8.0
2000AD #2044

Aug 14, 2017

A hard drinking, chain smoking, disillusioned private detective who uses magic and can commune with spirits might not be the most original comicbook character. Hope...for the Future returns after a brief hiatus, with PI Mallory Hope hard on the trail of the kidnappers of a child star in an alternative 1940's LA where magic and the occult are just another science. The evocative dialogue is full of the wit and self loathing of a Raymond Chandler novel, whilst the unique art of Jimmy Broxton makes the story feel like a 1940's crime comic with a postmodern edge, with disjointed framing and dream imagery. Hope...for the future is like a kidnapper's ransom note, each part cut from different source, combined into a threatening whole. Bad things are going to happen here, dark forces are at work, and the real story has only just begun.

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7.0
2000AD #2045

Aug 22, 2017

Tharg’s 3hrillers: Mechastopheles throws us into a post-apocalyptic flooded world haunted by demons that snatch away innocents, and vast steampunk robots. 2000AD regularly runs single part tales, squeezing an adventure or mystery into four or five pages. The 3hrilers stories expand this to three parts, allowing for more world building and development, but ensuring that a welcome isn’t outstayed. Mechastopheles begins well, but has only just started warming up.

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7.0
2000AD #2046

Aug 29, 2017

Private Investigator Mallory Hope’s investigation into the disappearance of a child actor reaches the seediest parts of LA in Hope...for the future. The slow moving, evocative crime comic style might at first seem out of place in a publication filled with mutants and giant robots, but 2000ad has long been willing to defy expectations and Hope...for the future is the highlight of the prog.

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8.0
2000AD #2047

Sep 5, 2017

Three parter Mechastopheles ends with a last moment reveal which...might not make much sense, and feels like it has been added to give some sense of an ending. A demon trapped in a giant robot, transporting a gang of misfits across a flooded and demon infested wasteland, Mechastopheles has some lovely kaiju battle art and has built an interesting steampunk world. However, there’s been little in the way of plot, with nothing resolved. It’s characters motivations are only now beginning to surface. Rather than a three part story, this feels like a pitch for something larger. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

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9.0
2000AD #2048

Sep 12, 2017

In Terminal, mild mannered software salesman Edgar has developed the rare balloon virus, and goes to extreme measures to find a cure before he...pops. Futureshocks are the trail by fire for new writers and are often the prog’s weakest link. Its remarkably difficult to build a stand alone story with compelling characters, then have a satisfying twist, in only four pages. With a mixture of humour and gore, Terminal manages the task with aplomb.

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9.0
2000AD #2049

Sep 19, 2017

Hope..for the future reaches its downbeat denouement. The mystery of the missing child actor has been solved and private investigator Mallory Hope reflects on who has been pulling the strings, and tries to do what is right by those who have been hurt along the way. The final episode allows Hope... to gracefully fade from view and leads nicely into a possible second part.

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10
2000AD #2050

Sep 26, 2017

Prog 2050 displays some of the many worlds of 2000AD, with something in every genre from a wide range of creators. It’s the perfect starting point.

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8.0
2000AD #2051

Oct 3, 2017

Things are snafu in Grey Area: Homeland Security, as the officers of the Exo Transfer Zone find themselves deployed in a middle-eastern warzone, where precious alien technology is up for grabs. Last week introduced this new set up and a whole host of new characters to the already large ensemble cast. This week, those characters are developed...and heartlessly culled. Its a brutal episode, which is quite a shift, but it’s shocking violence is portrayed as entirely real despite the unreal circumstances.

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7.0
2000AD #2052

Oct 10, 2017

No plan survives contact with the enemy, and in Grey Area: Homeland Security the squad struggles to regroup after an equipment failure. Again, its a moment of exposition before the storm. Grey Area is still warming up, still building its team of characters, but the true enemy is still to be revealed.

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7.0
2000AD #2053

Oct 16, 2017

Grey Area: Homeland Security rushes to a conclusion after taking a while to get this far. The border control force are up against Chinese super-soldiers in the Kuwait desert, in a race to prevent the use of illegal alien technology. It’s well handled, with a flashback structure and pages packed with action and panels. On the whole, although extremely well told Homeland Security has been a little flat, with a great deal of exposition, introductions to new characters and set up. It’s just another step in a longer tale which won’t come to a conclusion for a long time yet.

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8.0
2000AD #2054

Oct 24, 2017

Harry Absalom is also having some trouble with competitors in Absalom: Terminal Diagnosis. The ageing copper must walk a careful line in enforcing an ancient accord between the British authorities and the demons of Hell. Not everyone, however, is willing to play by the rules and this episode sees a street fight break out. It’s a solid episode, with consistently impressive art by Teirnen Trevallion, where the human side shows its own brutality and new foes are suggested.

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8.0
2000AD #2055

Oct 31, 2017

As with Dredd, the main character barely appears in Absalom: Terminal Diagnosis: Book One. Whilst Harry is in the hands of some unknown possible allies, his trusted companions are escorting a defecting demon across London and we are introduced to some of the dark forces pursuing them. It’s an episode which showcases characters we barely know, blends exposition and action, and again allows artist Tiernen Trevallion to shine.

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9.0
2000AD #2056

Nov 7, 2017

Harry Absalom world just got even more complicated in Absalom: Terminal Diagnosis: Book One. Harry is an old-school copper, tasked with maintaining the accord between the British authorities and Hell. It’s not an easy job, but it looks like he might have some new allies, as well as some new foes. This episode finely balances a car chase and gunfight with afternoon tea and scones. Its a competent piece of storytelling which rattles along at a great pace.

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9.0
2000AD #2057

Nov 14, 2017

Harry Absalom is inadvertently building an army in Absalom: Terminal Diagnosis: Book One. After joining forces with some little old ladies last week, we delve into the disturbing backstory of the defector Mister Crich, who also seems eager to assist in the battle against the forces of Hell. Once again, writer Gordon Rennie balances backstory and exposition with action, as we skip through Crich’s life, taking in the terrifying highlights of a man who found himself a servant to demons as a child. Absalom is slowly building characters with sound motivations in preparation for the battles ahead.

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9.0
2000AD #2058

Nov 21, 2017

For those who have fallen by the wayside, take a moment, if you will, to just appreciate how beautiful this is. The script, now in the hands of the talented Kek-W, plays not only with the John Smith-style jumble of magical/occult/pseudo-science references, but is filled with small humorous moments, like the insistence that explanations should be given in “post-Trump English”, or quoting Star Trek memes. The art, by Lee Carter, can faultlessly go anywhere, from finely crafted and expressive humans, to wild psychedelic panels, to aliens, ghosts and epic battles. Even the lettering, by Simon Bowland, is perfect, with long flowing dialogue unobtrusively slotted into already full panels, with small details of slightly different balloon shape or fonts for certain characters, allowing the whole thing to simply flow.

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7.0
2000AD #2059

Nov 28, 2017

There’s now a formula to Absalom: Terminal Diagnosis: Book One, as Harry Absalom slowly builds a team to help him save his grandchildren from the forces of hell. Whilst part of Harry’s team is involved in a life or death adventure, we get explanatory dialogue from elsewhere. This has allowed the cast of characters to expand without the action ever slowing down. In this episode, the ulterior motives of a trusted friend are revealed whilst Harry seeks help from an unlikely, and unlikable, ally. The idea that Harry’s team is falling apart as quickly as its built is a compelling one, building levels to characters who had only really been bit parts until now.

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6.0
2000AD #2060

Dec 5, 2017

It’s a solid ending which keeps a damp prog afloat. It doesn’t really bring anything new, but neatly signs off the first book of this tale by bringing all of the characters together, building drama and clearly signalling what comes next. As always, artist Teirnan Trevallion does some lovely work with disjointed panels and actions sequences, and some beautifully grotesque characters.

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7.0
2000AD #2061

Dec 12, 2017

Starlord: Watch The Stars reveals the awful truth, as alien reporters investigate Starlord’s villainous mission to recruit child soldiers to his genocidal war. It's interesting to see 2000AD openly mock its own history, having fun the absurdity of characters like Tharg the Mighty and “Big E”, the editor of the also subsumed Tornado comic (who was portrayed in photos by the artist Dave Gibbons). Watch the Stars is a fun little distraction which takes a fresh and humour look at a comic which became an important part of 2000AD, and British comics, history

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6.0
2000AD #2062

Jan 2, 2018

Brass Sun is a colossal adventure, with a vast universe and scope. The scale of the universe is gradually reintroduced in the second part of Brass Sun: Engine Summer. After last week’s prog nonchalantly throwing in a word balloon with the line “two thousand years later”, here the focus is on two conversations, as characters restate their intentions. It’s a quiet episode without action, but the majesty of Brass Sun is clear from its band of strange characters and their epic quests, slowling piecing together the cogs of this clockwork punk masterpiece.

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5.0
2000AD #2063

Jan 9, 2018

Beelitz hospital is where Hitler spent two months as a young man after being injured during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Originally built as a sanatorium, it was later used as a military hospital, first by the Nazis and then by the Soviets. After German reunification in the ‘90s, the building was abandoned. It remains today an empty shell, frequented by urban explorers and tourists curious about its morbid associations with oppressive regimes. It’s less than an hour’s journey from Berlin central train station, which is probably why Bill Savage was so eager to quickly defeat the robot army which interrupted his commute in Savage: The Thousand Year Stare. After being not at all surprised by the sudden appearance of a flying dreadnought, Bill decided the best way to escape it was by jumping on board, then managedto completely incapacitate the Transformers from the future with a single shot from a stun gun and run away. Imagine ifSarah Connor had just tazered the T100

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5.0
2000AD #2064

Jan 16, 2018

ABC Warriors: Fallout has been slowly introducing and incapacitating the team of robots by having them fight each other. This weeks pair are Steelhorn and Z. Fallout looks beautiful, with Clint Langley’s metallic and bloody landscapes and splashpages working perfectly for the industrialised Martian landscape, but the plot is very much by the numbers and the villainous authorities are little more that ciphers for unoriginal anti-social media satire.

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6.0
2000AD #2065

Jan 23, 2018

In Bad Company: Terrorists, the soldiers of the now defunct Bad Company are still searching for Crawley, the man responsible for starting the war which left them broken. History is rewritten as once dead characters are returned to life, and the basic premise of war making men into monsters is lost as we are exposed to a world where everything is crazy anyway. The brightly coloured art is certainly eye catching, but the whole purpose of this mission is lost on me.

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5.0
2000AD #2066

Jan 30, 2018

Thank goodness then for Brass Sun: Engine Summer, an epic adventure in the truest sense. To steal an idea from the 2000AD forums, Brass Sun is epic in scale and purpose, rather than just because it references ideas from thirty years ago. It’s a slow burn of a story, which will probably be best enjoyed in a single sitting rather than a few pages each week. This week sees a flurry of action, beautifully conveyed by INJ Culbard’s endearingly simple art.

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5.0
2000AD #2067

Feb 6, 2018

Thank goodness then for Brass Sun: Engine Summer. This slow moving, considered masterpiece has exploded into action and in only a few, silent panels, the world is changed forever. INJ Culbard’s understated art gives us a vast universe, filled with very small, very human moments. Once again Brass Sun is a standout in an otherwise lacklustre prog.

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6.0
2000AD #2068

Feb 13, 2018

Brass Sun: Engine Summer looks and feels like it shouldn’t be in this Prog. With every other story packed with brash combat, the patient and simple storytelling of Brass Sun feels out of place. This episode in particular, with its clear lines and some of the most beautiful colouring you will ever see, feels so unusual that it's a little jarring. After the devastation of last week, which saw whole planets torn from the sky in soundless scenes, Wren appears to have found herself on another wonderful and unique world. Brass Sun is strange and slow and considered. This is going to be well worth picking up as a collected edition.

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6.0
2000AD #2069

Feb 20, 2018

"Brass Sun": words as likely to divide the 2000AD fanbase as "Savage is overrated" or "Alpha and Wulf were secret lovers". With last week's almost soundless discovery that Wren had abandoned her quest and was living quietly on a tropical world, we get some exposition this Prog, as we catch up on what is revealed to be a gap of several years. Brass Sun: Engine Summer, has begun to remind me of the video game No Man's Sky. Undoubtedly beautiful worlds, filled with wondrous forms of life are visited in each episode, as the characters undertake an unimaginable journey. But its not for everyone. Plenty of readers will be disappointed at the lack of sustained action, or the glacial pace, or just find the whole thing repetitive and unappealing. But with so many bullets and squarejawed heroics elsewhere, some will find solace in this quiet corner of the universe where the unexpected might just happen.

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6.0
2000AD #2070

Feb 27, 2018

Danny Franks grieves for his dead friend again in Bad Company: Terrorists. Terrorists has flirted with going beyond the limitations expected of a story in which a bunch of soldiers seek revenge on a traitorous general, but the diversions have become increasingly oblique. This feels like a by the numbers story, with frequent tangents into weird battles and technology which ultimately don't go anywhere. Whilst it's been interesting to see other artists take on the iconic imagery of Bad Company, its going to take some work to wrap this up with a satisfying conclusion.

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6.0
2000AD #2071

Mar 6, 2018

Bad Company: Terrorists suffers from similar issues. Whilst visually interesting, the gang have spent weeks stumbling from one set-piece to another. A suggestion made few weeks ago of a reality behind the story has all but fallen away, and this Prog we get yet another lesson on the horrors of war. Bad Company has a whole cast of characters, but few of them have been given anything to do, appearing only for a few lines whilst Danny Franks narrates. With only a week to go, its difficult to see how this mission will be resolved in a satisfactory fashion.

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7.0
2000AD #2072

Mar 13, 2018

Brass Sun: Engine Summer also comes to an end, as Wren reluctantly returns to the battle against the Prime Numbers. This slow moving epic is full of both quiet,emotive momentsand vast landscapes, both of which are beautifully conveyed by artistINJ Culbard. The anthology format requires a cliff hanger or twist every five pages, but the pacing and scale would perhaps be better suited to a longer format. Brass Sun is also no-where near an ending, with more books to come.

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10
2000AD #2073

Mar 20, 2018

2000AD has its ups and downs, but Prog 2073 doesn't put a foot wrong. It's the perfect Prog to revitalise the comic, and a great jump-on Prog for new readers.

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10
2000AD #2074

Mar 27, 2018

With an angry Alpha determined to scare Kenton Sternhammer from the dangerous life of a bounty hunter, the interplay between the main characters might make long term readers yearn for the glory days, but it doesn't quite hit the high notes of those golden years. Regardless, The Son is shaping up to be an interesting tale.

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8.0
2000AD #2075

Apr 3, 2018

Johnny Alpha and Kenton Sternhammer are offered a contract beyond their abilities in Strontium Dog: The Son. The people of the planet Protoz want to employ the pair to restore order to their whole planet, after an influx of immigrants have brought crime to their previously peaceful lives. There's a sly nod to Brexit, as the Protoz authorities blame a political union for an influx of immigrants, take no measures to actually protect themselves, then look for the simplest answerto their problems. The story itself is following a predictable route so far, with Alpha refusing the mission in this Prog, ready to be drawn into another conflict. Nonetheless, its a fun tale, with Alpha as the stranger in a lawless town, dispensing brutal justice.

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8.0
2000AD #2076

Apr 10, 2018

There’s a Western style shootout in Strontium Dog: The Son. Johnny Alpha sets out to track down the Glazers, but they know he’s coming. Meanwhile, Kenton Sternhammer gets to demonstrate that Alpha isn’t alone in having a helpful mutation. It's a relatively quiet episode, in which the characters are given a moment to catch up. Carlos Ezquerra’s artwork is as beautiful as ever, with chunky and emotive characters, Johnny and Kenton convey a range of realistic emotions within only a few pages, although it looks like corners have been a little cut in some panels

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10
Brink #1

Aug 23, 2017

Brink is original, challenging and terrifying. As is first panel cast the reader into a twisting, twisted world, so its final panel shows the human race increasingly adrift as this world falls away from under them. There is more to come, with the second book of Brink currently appearing in the pages of 2000AD, and for the humans who live on the brink, things are likely to get much worse.

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7.0
Grey Area, This Island Earth #1

Jan 10, 2018

The short, interlinked stories around which greater themes are developed fits perfectly into 200AD’s anthology format, where tales are told in short bursts of five or six pages each week. But in Grey Areawe often have a big build up and action filled episodewhich ends with a somewhat flat denouement. Collected together in a single volume, the pace of the stories can feel quite uneven.Grey area continues to run in the pages of 2000AD, and later stories would turn the orginal format on its head. Grey Area: This Island Earth is an interesting introduction to the world and characters that would be transformed shortly down the line, but whilst it is a decent enough action-filled page turner, it feels fundamentally lacking in some key areas.

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8.0
Judge Dredd Megazine #388

Sep 26, 2017

The Megazine is packaged each month with a “floppy” reprint of earlier stories. Some of these are classics and some...not so much. This month’s floppy is a collection of “What ever happened to?” stories, which catch up with some lesser known names. It's a mixed bag, with some of the characters fan favourites of yesteryear and some wilfully obscure. A highlight is the comedic “Whatever happened to...Maria”, which sees an uncomfortable Dredd give a eulogy at the funeral of his housekeeper, who appeared as a comedy foil in the strip's early years. It turns out the Maria wasn’t all that she seemed...

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7.0
Judge Dredd Megazine #390

Nov 21, 2017

This month’s Megazine is also bagged with a reprint of Helium, a post-apocalyptic steampunk adventure by Ian Edginton, D’Israeli and Ellie De Ville, where airships transverse high above the earth, avoiding the poisonous fog which covers the globe. It’s an adventure akin to Leviathan or Scarlet Traces by the same creators, but its abrupt ending means it is long overdue a second part.

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8.0
Judge Dredd Megazine #391

Dec 20, 2017

This months Megazine is bagged with a reprint of Wagner’s Walk, a world war two story that was originally published in Tornado in 1979.

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10
Judge Dredd Megazine #392

Jan 16, 2018

This month’s Megazine also includes written articles on The Beatles Story, a comic book retelling of the world’s most famous boy band which will be reviewed on Comics the Gathering soon, and an interview with the artist Duke Mighten, who burned brightly in the 90’s comic book scene.

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10
Judge Dredd Megazine #393

Feb 13, 2018

This month’s Megazine also features an article on new talent who’ll be appearing in these pages this year, as well as an obituary of the artist Jim Baikie, who sadly passed away in December.

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10
Judge Dredd Megazine #394

Mar 20, 2018

A very different vision of the Dark Judges arrive in Mega City One in Dredd: The Dead World. The supernatural Judge Death and his lieutenants might not feel like the most obvious fit to the movie-version of Dredd's universe, but with some great writing from Alex De Campi and Arthur Wyatt, new character is added to the monsters from another dimension.

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9.0
The Beatles Story #1

Feb 14, 2018

The Beatles Story was obviously a huge volume of work from both writer and artist. Whilst it provides a somewhat comprehensive, if rushed, history of the events, being initially targeted at a younger audience it barely breaks the surface of the experience of being a Beatles, or provides any examination of the Fab Four’s characters. Its a real curio – it may well appeal to Beatles fans who might not be surprised by its contents, but will enjoy it as an artifact, or simply to those interested in the format and the artistry involved in producing such a high quality strip within such a condensed timeframe. It’s not going to be for everyone, but the Beatles Story sets out to do something and it does it phenomenally well.

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10
The Dark Judges: The Fall of Deadworld #1

Oct 30, 2017

There are few comics as dark as the Fall of Deadworld. Jump scares are easy, gore is predictable and evil monsters are forgettable, but Fall of Deadworld isn’t just a horror comic. It is a vision of terror and despair, which will get under your skin and haunts your dreams.

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10
The Dracula Files #1

Sep 20, 2017

Above all, and despite these issues, the Dracula File is fun. It’s ridiculous premise brilliantly combines the horrors of gothic fiction with the fears of the cold war era. It is packed full of atmospheric details, comedy, action, and some really creepy moments. The dark, inky and detailed art is perfect for the classically creepy aesthetic of British horror. The writing is frenetic, wild and original. The collected Dracula Filesets a high bar for future collections from the Treasury of British Comics line, and is well worth picking up this hallowe'en.

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