If you’ve ever had a crisis of faith you might just be the perfect candidate for The Whispering Dark. This new miniseries by Christofer Emgard and Tomas Aira captures that and more in this story of soldiers who must do terrible things, endure intense fear, and live through danger. It’s a new horror story perfectly timed for Halloween.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Hannah Vance believes her faith in God can survive anything. But when her helicopter is shot down behind enemy lines, she will fight and kill on an ever-more-savage battlefield, desperate for a way home. On the horizon, an evil waits for her–and freedom, of a sort.
Why does this matter?
This is an extra-sized story in length that’s unique and quite special in how it approaches horror. Focusing on its protagonist Hannah via captions, readers witness the trials a good Christian must go through when in the throes of war.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens and closes in the present, setting up a godly focus with Hannah in a church. Emgard gives these scenes a somewhat supernatural feel that confuses and then in the closing reveals things aren’t as they seem. There’s a crisis of faith going on, but also something evil. This is a story about what soldiers must do in the field even though it defies the most important commandment: thou shalt not kill. The story unfolds in a slow, but sure sort of way, blending in the realism with the fantastical so you’ll be drawn in. That makes the horror of this story, which I will not spoil, all the more unnerving and affecting.
This issue hinges on Hannah’s captions, which are written very well. It draws you into her perspective which I think many will relate to. She calls upon stories of her youth which explains the drive to be like her brothers, but when forced to kill has a sharp realization that it’s not for her. At its core, this story is about killing when you must even though at your core you know it’s wrong. I’m very interested to see where we go from here, especially when the supernatural elements kick into gear.
Tomas Aira draws a great issue with fantastic detail with environments, weaponry, and clothing. There’s a realism in the issue that helps maintain a realistic look so that when things get freaky you might just jump out of your seat. Much of this is a character drama, so know also that the acting and facial expressions are tight and easily readable.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s good this is a longer issue because it isn’t speeding along as some might like. It’s a slow boil so don’t expect a lot of plot development — instead, character work is the focus. The frustration in its slowness is increased by the fact that not a lot is explained by its end, expecting readers to come back for more answers. But then again, that’s what a cliffhanger is meant to do, right? That said, I was left wanting more in regards to the direction of the book. It’s a bit vague.
Is it good?
A good horror for anyone interested in a bit of religion in their scares. It’s also an interesting character piece focusing on the trials of war, and all its horrors that change a person.
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