It’s finally Halloween month, and there’s no better time to be reading horror comics. Major and indie publishers alike pull out all the stops to introduce their biggest horror stories of the year. This means loads of new titles, events, and special edition printings . This first week in October kicks off with the start of the “Animal Man/Swamp Thing” crossover, Marvel brings back Carnage in “Minimum Carnage”, a Lovecraft edition of “Creepy Comics”, and plenty more.
With the ever-increasing number of books coming out between the tie-ins, the crossovers, and the new series, we’ve all got to limit our reading list somehow. We present you with our ten most anticipated books of the week. So feast your eyes on these! Whether you’ve been into comics since you were a young’un, or you’re new to the game, we’re here to help you decide which books to pick up. If I’ve missed something you’re stoked about or if you’ve got any questions, list it in the comments.
The Low Down: “Alan Moore and Malcolm McLaren’s historic re-imaging of Beauty and the Beast continues! Doll doesn’t fit in anywhere. And when fate seems to wash her in the direction of the mysterious unseen benefactor, Celestine, she discovers that the all-too glitzy fashion world with its glamour and excess is home to a brand of horror that the self-obsessed ignore until it is too late. Stunningly illustrated by Facundo Percio and scripted by long-time Moore collaborator, Antony Johnston, this series delivers Alan Moore’s vision down to the letter and will change the way you look at fables for the rest of your life!”
The Feast: Alan Moore’s “Fashion Beast” is off to a strange yet promising start, showing that even when his work is translated between mediums it maintains a certain element of Moore magic. Despite the themes of sexual promiscuity, gender bending, and cross-dressing, “Fashion Beast” still holds a certain appeal for the average comic fan. It’s about time somebody started – read Alan Moore has been doing this for a long time – bringing these issues up in mainstream comics.
The Low Down: “Scarlet Spider and Venom collide as the hunt for Carnage begins, taking both heroes to a place you’ll never believe.”
The Feast: In the wake of “Carnage USA” good ol’ Cletus Kasady is back with a vengeance, and it’s going to take Scarlet Spider and Venom to hunt him down. Fans know Carnage as one of the best characters to come out of the 90s, and with Yost and Bunn on board, there’s sure to be a helluva lot of fun in the pages of “Minimum Carnage”.
The Low Down: “Now in DC’s acclaimed deluxe format, this new hardcover collects all things Death, including DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING #1-3, DEATH: THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE #1-3, plus extras including ‘Death Talks about Life’ AIDS pamphlet, stories from VERTIGO: WINTER’S EDGE #2 and THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS, the short story ‘The Wheel’ from the 9-11 tribute book, SANDMAN #8 and #20, and art from the DEATH GALLERY!”
The Feast: If there’s one thing DC does better than any other publisher, it’s their Deluxe and Special Hardcover reprinting. This edition collects the Gaiman’s entire run on “Death”, plus a big art gallery. For only $29.99, it’s a real steal.
The Low Down: “It’s the story you’ve been waiting for: “ROTWORLD: THE RED KINGDOM”! Part one of a four-part epic in which the Earth has fallen to the Rot!
Guest-starring Justice League Dark, Beast Boy and many other heroes and villains from the DC Universe!”
The Feast: Since the “Rotworld” event was announced only a few months into the New 52, I’ve been on the edge of my seat. With the #0 issues out of the way, Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire finally bring us into their twisted world of death, decay, and terror. This is undoubtedly the biggest horror event of the year.
The Low Down: Swamp Thing learns the truth of how the Earth fell to the Rot as seen in this month’s issues of ANIMAL MAN and FRANKENSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E.
Guest-starring Poison Ivy, Deadman and The Parliament of Trees!”
The Feast: Along with the above comments, I’m excited to see exactly who Snyder and Lemire choose to revive from the “Swamp Thing” canon. One of the best things about the 80s “Swamp Thing” was his interactions with the rest of the DCU, from which he seemed so detached. Thus far, Snyder has been integrating Swamp Thing quite amicably with Animal Man and we’re hoping we see him interact with plenty other heroes throughout the event.
The Low Down: “In honor of the greatest horror writer of them all, Uncle Creepy presents an all-Lovecraft special. We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy! Leading off with the twist-filled conclusion to Doug Moench and Kelley Jones’s mind-blowing “The Lurking Fate That Came to Lovecraft,” this issue also includes takes on the master from the teams of John Arcudi/Richard Corben and Matt Weinhold/Darick Robertson, a classic reprint of “The Rats in the Walls,” and a variety of other Lovecraft-inspired features! For once even Uncle Creepy is scared!”
The Feast: Who doesn’t love a little Lovecraft during October? This issue of “Creepy” is dedicated to the father of cosmic horror as Lovecraft’s tales are adapted by some of the biggest names in the comics industry. Curl up in the seething, putrid darkness and enter Lovecraft’s eldritch world of lurking terror.
The Low Down: “You won’t want to miss the return of Krypto!
Superman must face down a threat from the Phantom Zone – with the help of The Phantom Stranger! Grant Morrison makes a major change in ACTION COMICS in this special issue featuring art by Travel Foreman!”
The Feast: Recently, Grant Morrison noted that he was working on the Halloween issue of “Action Comics”, I’m going out on a whim here and assuming that he was referring to issue #13. Really, who doesn’t want to see a Superman horror story?
The Low Down: “Los Angeles, 2041 – it’s twenty-six years after a NASA probe brought back a strange disease causing many of our familiar toy-like objects to come to life. This is a new world order where cute and fearsome creatures fight for their right to exist in a world that fears them – Blade Runner meets Toy Story.”
The Feast: Anything described as a cross between Blade Runner and Toy Story is a must in my books. Really anything with toys coming to life is a must for me because of how many times I wished this would happen as a child (I still do). We’re hoping for a bizarrely original tale from Brunswick that strays from the typical sci-fi action story.
The Low Down: “Oscar Wilde’s only published novel, the fascinating, dark tale of Dorian Gray is re-presented in this handsome hardcover edition. Featuring powerful illustrations from S.P. Shearon, Wilde’s tale of aestheticism and duplicity is an excellent addition to IDW’s growing library of illustrated classics.”
The Feast: I’m a real sucker for these IDW illustrated novels, especially when they dip into the Gothic literature canon. Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is one of the first chilling tales of psychological decay. With illustrations from Sam Shearon, this is going to be a beautiful re-printing of a classic tale.
The Low Down: “Set up for murder, Dr. Benjamin Dane finds himself wanted by a black market surgical squad and the FBI, with only an outcast Yakuza assassin to protect him, none of which will stop him from getting to his next patient. Plus the freaky kid is back.”
The Feast: Medical horror is a seriously untapped genre, mostly because it’s so hard to pull off. Lieberman and Lorimer hold up a big finger to shows like House and ER with “Harvest” by delivering a relentlessly gory and disturbing tale of black-market surgery.
The Low Down: “ Hitmen and mercenaries are ordered by the President to bring down an eighteen-year-old super assassin named Song- but she’s going to turn the tables on them – and every kill is going to be epic! Song has trained since childhood to take revenge on the man responsible for her parent’s deaths -the man who has just been elected President! Filled with never-seen-before extra material! Collects EPIC KILL #1-5.”
The Feast: If you like girls with swords, lots of blood, and assassins, Epic Kill is your book.