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Monkeybrain Monday Review: “The Remains” # 1

While Monkeybrain comics may not specialize in horror, they do specialize in quality comic books. For those of you looking to expand your palette this is “Monkeybrain Monday” showcasing some of the digital titles this smaller publisher has to offer.

Cullen Bunn has recently taken the comics world by storm with “Sinestro”, and the new “Magneto” ongoing from Marvel launching this week. “The Remains” follows two young girl’s horrific encounter after their struggling father decides to take in a rat-like drifter. The dusty art style of A.C. Zamudio lends the book a homespun feel that is filled with skittering scares.

WRITTEN BY: Cullen Bunn
ART BY: A.C Zamudio
PUBLISHER: Monkeybrain Comics
PRICE: $0.99

After reading his stellar short story in “In The Dark” it’s clear the man has an obsession. Cullen Bunn seems to revel in the world of rats. “The Remains” is comfortable in the dirt and grit. Getting low to the ground with a children’s perspective of a terrible and horrific plight.

Birdie and her little sister Abbie don’t know what to think when a rough looking drifter interrupts their playtime. He’s looking for work and their father’s more than willing to oblige. He’s a scarred and scary looking man. He smiles with a certain glint of malice, and from the right angle, he looks remarkably like a rat. Although Birdie is uneasy about all this, she knows her father needs the help, so she keeps quiet.

The girls are ordered to clean out the barn, and what lies in wait for them there makes for one of the most disgusting, engaging, and horrifying sequences in any horror book. If something like this happened to me as a child I think I’d be mute today.

This is just the beginning. Bunn builds a tale of horror wrapped in mystery. The girls don’t get a ton of development, and the characters are somewhat archetypal, but the drifter intrigues enough to keep interest. Something supernatural is going on, and it’s clear this drifter has everything to do with it. Just how it all fits together isn’t clear but the setup is tantalizing enough to tease dire consequences in the future.

Zamudio’s art has a homespun feel that really understands the environment of the book. Characters look weathered and tired. The drifter has an air of otherworldly personification, but only from the right angles. It’s the type of chilling stuff that’ll have you giving the book a second glance. The sequence in the barn is paneled in such a way that feels overwhelming and hopeless. Which only adds to the girl’s plight.

Bunn has crafted a simple tale of horror around a questionable love of rodents to create a chilling tale of lost innocence and threatening strangers. It’s straightforward in its setup and smooth in its execution. It may not do anything new for the genre, so to speak, but it’ll assuredly get under your skin.

Rating: 4/5 Skulls.



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