Pumpkinhead #3 by Dynamite Comics is out on the shelves today and it continues the story of Vengeance summoned in the form of the demon Pumpkinhead.
This issue starts us out after a slaughter has happened at a farm where Clayton Reese has been kept safe awaiting the arrival of his father. Clayton was involved with a hit-and-run that killed two local children belonging to the Kinkade family. The Kinkades are a local family of hillbillies steeped in the old ancient ways of justice. Ernst, the patriarch of the family, approaches the witch Haggis striking a deal with her to summon the demon Pumpkinhead for revenge against his dead grandchildren. Sheriff Ferris, who is investigating the hit-and-run heads off with Deputy Daryl and the town drunk Bunt to the Kinkade homestead to try and get information from them about the accident. She believes that the Bellworth family, charged with the safekeeping of Clayton Reese, might retaliate against the Kinkades for any vigilante justice the Kinkades may decide to dole out to them.
Meanwhile at the Bellworth Farm, Clayton Reese paces nervously knowing something sinister is coming for him. At that moment Pumpkinhead climbs onto the roof of the house ripping it open and reaching in for Clayton. Suddenly three other demons appear. Sloth, Envy, and Lust attack Pumpkinhead in an attempt to kill it. They are jealous of how often that Vengeance is called upon more than they are and want it dead. What follows is a battle royale of demons each representing mankind’s sins as the three demons try to take down Pumpkinhead.
Back at the Kinkade residence Sheriff Ferris finds out that Ernst Kinkade is linked to Pumpkinhead and sees it through the eyes of vengeance. Suddenly a fifth demon arrives and destroys the police SUV parked outside. Bunt narrowly escapes with his life and fleas into the Kinkade house. The demon follows him in bursting through the door and attacking the sheriff, the deputy, and the Kinkade family.
The issue ends with the which Haggis stepping outside of her home where a sixth demon is lurking and waiting for her on the roof above.
The writing on this series is interesting. Cullen Bunn incorporates other demons representing the seven deadly sins of mankind into the story. While this does make it fresh and adds new monsters to the mix, it is rather unclear at this point how they got there and their only motivation seems to be to destroy Pumpkinhead out of simple jealousy. The story at its core is nothing new in this franchise. There is a wrongful killing and the family of the victims approach a witch and make a deal to send the demon of Vengeance after the killers. Sheriff Ferris is an interesting character but the rest are written rather generically. Cullen Bunn does seem to be setting up for something bigger in the issues to come but this issue seemed a bit disjointed with monsters just appearing out of the blue for no real reason. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes in future issues.
The artwork in this series is okay but really only shines when the monsters appear. Pumpkinhead is his usual creepy self and Blacky Shepherd does a pretty good job incorporating the new demons into the look and feel of the story. Other than Lust and Gluttony however, they don’t really distinguish the sins that they are supposed to represent very well. The colors that Arancia Studio uses are rather bright and vibrant taking away from the creepiness that a title like this should have. The humans have an orange kind of hue to them and the monsters are so brightly colored that they’re not very scary to look at and are actually rather pretty. A title like this should be horrific and gory and the coloring works against that goal.
Overall this is not a bad title or issue. It does fit rather well into the franchise and feels like the Pumpkinhead universe. Bringing in other demons is definitely an interesting spin on the story, but there was no real explanation or reason for them being there other than their jealousy of Pumpkinhead. I would recommend it to fans of the franchise who are interested in seeing a new idea of Pumpkinhead as a representation of one of the seven deadly sins, but for the casual horror comic fans it is nothing spectacular.
Is it good?
Pumpkinhead #3 is it good attempt at continuing an original story in the Pumpkinhead franchise. The writing is interesting enough but the story feels a bit disjointed at times. The artwork can seem very simple and other times can be very creepy but the bright vibrant colors used really take away from that dark vibe that makes a great horror comic.
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