Dark Ride is an exciting creator-owned series by Joshua Williamson and Andrei Bressan about a horror-themed park with a dark origin. Created by a Walt Disney type, his two children are trying to keep the park alive while outside sources are trying to uncover the many missing people who enter the park and never exit it. In Dark Ride #3, things get a whole lot darker as we begin to learn new details that change everything.
Dark Ride #3 progresses a few different plots, starting with Sam discovering his sister Halloween’s daughter with her wrists cut up. In the last issue she heard voices and did that to herself, but from Hallowen’s perspective, Sam was negligent. Their rocky relationship continues but is reset by a confrontation with the often-hidden-away father. Meanwhile, another sibling named Summer is attempting to find her brother Owen, our main character in the first issue, and meets an untimely demise in the park. It seems her meddling will further put the park and the legacy of the creator in danger while siblings attempt to rekindle relationships.
The meatier scenes in this issue involve Halloween confronting her father, who seems to be building a giant demon in his tower. It’s a little funny how easy it is for her to run into him when he’s been hidden away for the first issue, but he continues to be hidden in this scene as he’s cast in shadow. “What’s wrong with his face,” you might wonder, and while it’s odd the characters don’t remark on his ability to stay in the shadows, the mystery remains. In this scene, Williamson and Bressan seem to be laying the groundwork for the park’s role in something that could bring great danger to them – or even doomsday to Earth.
In another pivotal scene that ends the book, Williamson hints at a new mystery to uncover and also a weird relationship between Sam and the demonic mascots. Since the first issue, we’ve seen these mascots, and they are likely real demons. Sam doesn’t know that, though; the confrontation between him and the purple one is fascinating. This scene also brings Summer and Sam together at last, which should spell interesting complications for both going forward. The cliffhanger, meanwhile, will have you coming back for more.
Thanks to Bressan and color artist Adriano Lucas, the art continues to be incredibly clean and bright. The gore in the cliffhanger is incredibly well done, and the purple demon is excellently rendered. Aside from the impossible way the father is shadowed, there are no complaints in the art department!
If you were to find a gripe, it might be in how the issue is plotted. It has to reconcile with Halloween’s daughter’s accident, jumps to Summer, smash cuts to Halloween with the father, and then back to Summer. Key characters end up where they need to be, which feels too convenient.
Dark Ride #3 continues to excite with intriguing mysteries and well-drawn visuals. Expect to be sick to your stomach and excited for more.
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