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[Comic Book Review] “The October Faction” #1 Disappoints Entirely

“The October Faction”, is a new IDW title from horror master Steve Niles (“30 Days of Night”, “Criminal Macabre”).  It is a creep show about a magically inclined family living a spooky mansion doing occult things.  If the name Steve Niles instantly intrigues you, be forewarned:  while this book has the characteristic style and tone, it is lacking in almost every other quality that Niles books are known for.  It is certainly too soon to tell, but I wasn’t entirely impressed by this introductory issue.

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WRITTEN BY: Steve Niles
ART BY: Damien Worm

PUBLISHER: IDW
PRICE: $3.99

RELEASE: October 8, 2014

Reviewed By Eric Switzer

I guess my major gripe if “The October Faction” #1 is that it doesn’t feel like a first issue at all, and for a fresh IP with as much potential as this book has, I think that is a real disservice.  We are first introduced to a character named Geoff, who apparently can see dead people and has to deal with an obnoxiously flat character bullying him.  We spend most of the issue Fredrick, Geoff’s father, who is a monster professor, as he catches up with his old monster killing comrade Lucas.  We learn about his estranged wife and her affair and then we are very briefly introduced to daughter Vivian as her and Geoff do some kind of magic something, and then we are hit with a stinger that is completely without context and leaves me with the most resounding feeling of “who cares” ever.

Here is why I say it doesn’t feel like an Issue #1: Fredrick is the only character that is properly introduced, I have no idea what the kids are up to or what they are talking about, the cover advertises “Retired monster hunter, thrill-killer, warlock and witch” but again, only the retired monster hunter is evident.  I guess we can assume the kids are the warlock and witch because they are doing some kind of magic something.  It is all very unclear.  It is good for an issue one to introduce concepts and build intrigue, but it feels to me this book is riding to much on the good names of Niles and Worm and not enough on the substance of the plot and characters.  Perhaps what it needed was a double sized issue, or some expositional prose at the beginning, but I don’t think I’m being unfair when I say this is an unsuccessful first issue.  I have no idea what The October Faction is or what that means.  Is it a nickname for the family?  I don’t know and that is probably not a good thing.

This series has every potential to pick up and run with it, perhaps it will be a really outstanding trade, after all this isn’t Niles’ and Worm’s first rodeo and the book is stunning to look at, it really is, but judging one issue at a time, I can’t say I was blown away by this one.  I dedicated to these creators and I trust them to deliver something new and exciting, but this was a pretty blah issue one.

Eric Switzer  is an aspiring filmmaker and screenplay writer living in Los Angeles.  His work tends to focus on the lighter side of entropy, dystopic futures, and man’s innate struggle with his own mortality.  He can be found on twitter @epicswitzer or reached via email at ericswitzerfilm@gmail.com

 



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