For someone like me who has a phobia of their eyes being touched, the new horror comic series from Jeremy Haun (writer) and Danny Luckert (artist) might not be recommended reading.
So of course AIPT Media Manager David Brooke saw that the book starts out with a woman losing her eye (and her boyfriend) in a brutal mugging and thought “This would be perfect for Nick!” I’ll just assume/hope that the part about her prosthetic eye seeing an evil entity that has entered our world was what made him think it was right up my alley.
Anyway, let’s get on with the review, shall we?
Snappy Spoiler-Lite Recap
- Good to see that much like me and my girlfriend, Luke and Daisy end their dates by marveling at how much food they ate.
- I HATE YOU SO MUCH, DAVID!
- Nurse bedside manner > Cop bedside manner.
- Never a good sign when the police say that person you love was “lost.”
- I know Daisy feels helpless and angry right now, but I already admire her for courage letting the doctor pluck that prosthetic eye into her socket.
- Awkward Best Friend Moment: When they’ve been on a cool trip overseas, but only want to talk about your recent traumatic experience.
- Not sure if the pills she’s taking are for anxiety or pain, but either one is understandable.
Sometimes it feels like horror comics do too much to differentiate themselves from horror movies. In the case of Red Mother, however, Jeremy Haun embraces the standard horror movie structure–and it works beautifully.
After the issue’s thrilling/horrific opening, it would have been easy to dive full steam ahead into the supernatural stuff. Instead, we see how Daisy is affected both physically and psychologically. Watching her withdrawal from her best friend while simultaneously making a concerted effort NOT to isolate herself makes her much easier to identify with. We not just rooting for Daisy because she’s the protagonist–we’re rooting for her because we feel scared for and sympathetic toward her.
Unfortunately, this foundation of character building leaves very little issue space to see or understand the supernatural force she’s going up against beyond a few vague (but still scary looking) panels. That being said, Haun’s attention to detail here will probably make the series read much better as a whole.
Another point in Red Mother‘s favor is Luckert’s artwork, which manages to be strikingly clear and clean without ever feeling sterile. It looks even better when he finally gets to flex his monster chops, which we will no doubt get to see more of next issue.
Will I be back next issue, though? Well, despite constantly feeling the need to cover my right eye and shudder, I still enjoyed this one immensely. Red Mother definitely isn’t the most comfortable book for someone like me to read, but if the story and artwork continue to be this this good, it’ll be absolutely worth it.
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