The Me You Love in the Dark is an important comics series that wraps up this week. It’s important because it tells a tale of abusive relationships under the lens of a haunted house. In the last issue, Ro’s art dealer Attison learned the hard way how violent Ro’s monster-boyfriend is and now she’s in a fight for flight mode. How do you escape a dark entity that has incredible power with codependency?
This is the scariest issue yet, opening with Ro sitting near a pile of gore with blood splatter on her face. The monster isn’t phased by what it just did to Ro’s friend and only cares that Ro never escapes its grasp. As she moves about the house the monster speaks some rather disturbing language that continues to show they are in an unhealthy relationship. The billions of eyeballs and abilities the monster has that are inhuman might have been a dead giveaway Ro was in over her head, but it’s incredibly evident here.
This is a story that will deeply affect those who have been in abusive relationships. As writer Skottie Young told me, “When brainstorming over all the sub-categories of horror, a type of haunted house story felt perfect.” He’s more than right as this issue is effective in disturbing with its themes, dialogue, and visuals. We are witness to Ro trying to escape an unbearably emotional experience from a monster that can’t see its actions are wrong, selfish, and damaging.
Jorge Corona’s art, paired with colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu, is incredible with great details and imaginative visuals when it comes to the monster. We get some close-up shots of the monster that draw you into the utter horror and impossible situation Ro is in. The art gets even more disturbing when the monster sprouts many hands and arms covering every inch of the house. You get the sense Ro is in an impossible trap. When the tables have turned, the use of flames and many teeth combine into a chaotic and incredibly disturbing visual.
This issue falls prey to the weaknesses of serial storytelling. You need to read the first four to understand how we got here and the weight of its conclusion requires you to read those. It serves as a gorgeously drawn and highly dramatic finale with great effect, but it’s a piece to a larger story that’ll be best read collected.
The Me You Love in the Dark #5 is an incredible work that’s emotionally disturbing and cleverly uses the haunted house trope in a sadly relatable way for readers to connect to. It also ends in a satisfying way, wrapping up a series that is going to be even better when collected. This is a dark and haunting horror story that will affect you emotionally and visually.
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