Joshua Hale Fialkov’s new series “The Bunker” with Joe Infurnari is currently killing it online. Proving to change the way creator owned comics are approached and distributed while also being a damn fine science fiction story in its own right.
Fialkov’s roots lie in horror. “Echoes” is a chilling story of a man who finds out that his father suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is a murderer. This deathbed confession shakes the protagonist’s entire world. Resulting in a finely crafted story that deals with mental illness, gruesome murders, and the fear of becoming what we dread most.
Brian Cohn isn’t a simple man. He is schizophrenic, expecting his first child, and now dealing with the revelation that his father was a serial killer. He is tormented by this news in fascinating ways. Brought to life by Rahsan Ekedal’s chilling black and white art that will have you questioning your own sanity with incredibly complex page layouts.
“Echoes” is a story about the danger of our own expectations.
“Echoes” is a tightly scripted series. Each chapter twists and turns the story. Brian constantly wades though his own psyche. This journey proves to be compelling with every page. The immense similarities he shares with his father push him to believe he is becoming a monster. So when a little girl disappears in the second chapter he has no doubts the transformation has already begun.
Brian enters a winding narrative of maddening self-doubt. Fialkov takes the time to steep his writing inside Brian’s complex and fractured mind. Fleeting moments of doubt combats the fear that he did commit this crime. The horror of it all comes through doubting your own beliefs about this man. Did he do it? Is he capable of this? Was his father’s dying confession actually a self-fulfilling prophecy?
The answers to these questions come hard and fast through the five chapters of “Echoes.” Brian’s personal journey of madness never lets up for a moment. The gruesome reality he faces manifests itself in a variety of disgusting ways.
Rahsan Ekedal deserves major props for his work on this book. The opening pages show the fantastic lengths Ekedal is willing to go to in order to throw the reader into Brian’s madness. Several small panels permeate the two page spread on page two and three that are divided by Brain’s figure in the foreground. The result is wildly unnerving. If the script makes you feel lost in a sea of wild thought than the art will have you drowning.
The details within the more ghastly elements of the story will send a chill down your spine. The dolls, oh sweet Jesus those dolls. Ekedal shows the intricate detail of the murders through these horrible creations. The visions manifested by Brian’s mind serve as a haunting juxtaposition to the dull world around them.
Fialkov weaves his tightly knit narrative around the concept of children. The idea of murdering children is only the beginning. The story is much more about a very real fear that most all of us face at some point in our lives: who will our children grow up to be?
“Echoes” has some real fun with this idea by taking it to the extreme. The story will always keep you guessing and have you take a long hard look at your own life. What you’ll find will scare the living fuck out of you. Easily making it one of the finest horror comics you’ll read in a while.
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