“Curse” continues its descent into small-town madness with another chilling chapter of werewolf mythology. Laney pushes himself to a point of no return. Moreci and Daniel show that compassion is both his greatest strength and weakness. Yet, it is history that becomes the focal point of this stellar second issue. Our past defines us, and that characterization is often impossible to escape.
People in small towns love to gossip. They take great interest in the lives of others, particularly a person’s past. It’s hard to change who you are when everyone has already made up their minds behind your back. Laney will always be the failed Football star. It’s a shame really, but it’s his cross to bear.
The script this month does a solid job at turning the screws on every character in play. Things are getting significantly worse, and are only bound to get darker with each successive issue. Within all of this darkness is an air of compassion. We’re reminded why Laney has taken on his crazy inquest and briefly encounter some humanity within the heart of the beast.
It’s a great way to bring everything into a murky grey area. Within this fog the lines of right and wrong dissipate. Laney is no better than the town drunk, and the werewolf becomes a victim. It’s a heartfelt spin on the dynamic we’ve seen before. Managing to breath new life into an old fable.
Lorimer does the bulk of the lifting again this month. His clean digital approach manages to imbue the cold winter with some warmth, and his character work is stunningly clean and detailed. He revels in darkness, and has a serious gift for creating haunted eyes. His choice of angles imitates some of the horror greats. By using obtuse viewpoints on the most normal interactions he creates an unparalleled sense of dread.
Rossmo’s work falls onto the complete opposite side of the spectrum. His lines are wild and unkempt. His work is drawn with a certain ferocity that screams danger. He make the werewolves’ past brilliant. The muted color palette channels a ghostly world devoid of warmth and should bring back twinges of his work on Green Wake.
This issue takes a more leisurely pace and uses it to gloomy effect. We’re dragged through a story of loss and desperation. The characters that populate this bleak world are given their time to develop and the conflict becomes even more complicated. Thing’s won’t be easy going into issue 3.
“Curse” manages to be so much more than typical werewolf fare. The dynamic combination of styles within the creative team propels it to be something uniquely horrifying. There is loss, isolation, blood, guts, manipulation and more. The book touches on all sorts of taboos and like any good horror story has its roots firmly grounded in the history of its world.
Rating 4/5 Skulls.