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Halloween: The Gathering Week Five

by Nathan Koffler on October 16, 2018


Halloween is creeping up on us so quickly and, like every year, I am panicking trying to fit all of the Halloween things in so that I can enjoy every little bit of the holiday season. But enough of thinking about it being over, it’s still the middle of October so let’s get to some horror comic book recommendations. 

This week I chose two series that have come out within the last year. Both of these newer series were mini-series and have concluded already so that means you can read them in their entirety. One of the series is a spin-off of a horror movie franchise and one is a series that flew under the radar. I’m really excited to share these recommendations with you so let’s jump right into them!

Under: Scourge of the Sewer

Titan Comics announced that Statix Press would be their new international imprint where they would handle translated comics from other countries. It is a wonderful idea and we’ve seen some great series come from them that I know that I personally would have never even heard about. The issue, however, is that I feel like the publisher and it’s series continually don’t get noticed enough. That always disappoints me because I haven’t not really enjoyed a title they have released yet and I am sure there are a lot of other people who would definitely enjoy them as well. 

Under is one of Statix Press’ early series and is the first one that made me aware of the publisher. I was surprised of how little I had heard of it because I started reading it and loved it. The story is dramatic and scary even if it is a little cheesy sometimes. Those characteristics are exactly what I like about horror media so I was enthralled from the start.

Under is about a disgraced cop who, after an incident which involved the death of his partner, has been assigned to the crew that guards the extremely large sewer system under the city. A zoology student who is studying undiscovered or unusual creatures gets an opportunity to tag along with the Lieutenant during his shifts to look for these animals she believes may be in the sewers. 

This setup goes the way you probably expect: disgraced cop and beautiful scientist join forces to uncover secrets that the government is hiding while they have a lot of adventure and eventually have sex. It’s a pretty classic B-movie plot and I can honestly say I don’t get tired of it and it’s especially fun in this series.

So we know where the drama is, but where is the horror? Well, the creatures living in the sewers are terrifyingly huge spiders. I don’t have a normal fear of spiders at all, but thousands of huge spiders living in a sewer is absolutely scary to me. There are several intense and violent moments in this series that cement the story even more in the horror comics genre. 

I do want to mention that to find this series on Comixology or something, you’ll have to look for Under: Scourge of the Sewer because that is the English version. Also, the series interestingly came out in two very large issues but were then later put together in a volume that collected both. 

The series is definitely a roller coaster ride and it’s one that I am sure you will have fun on. I am also confident that the drama, action, and horror that Under presents will make for some awesome Halloween season comic book reading. 

Pumpkinhead

Pumpkinhead seemed like a strange movie to adapt into a comic book but it was pleasantly pretty good. If you’ve never seen the Pumpkinhead films, the series can still be enjoyed, but I would still recommend watching at least the first Pumpkinhead because it is a lot of fun. 

The Pumpkinhead comic book series is about a dad who had a son killed and seeks the help of an old witch to send vengeance to the person responsible, which is also the plot from the movie. However, the difference is that this series expounds on the original story by adding some of the witch’s backstory and adds a storyline that follows the sheriff investigating all of the weird stuff happening in this small town. 

I know that it may seem that all I recommend are horror comics written by Cullen Bunn every week, but he just happens to write a lot of great horror comics so I can’t help but read and love his work. Bunn writes this Pumpkinhead series and does a fantastic job of keeping the story dark and exciting. He actually may have made the story even darker and a lot more exciting. 

Bunn took the legend of Pumpkinhead and placed him within the drama that is running through this small town. Multiple families are involved and as usual Pumpkinhead takes no survivors. I appreciated how much Bunn added to this story because it was just enough to make this a solid five issue horror mini-series. 

As good as Bunn did with this series, artist Blacky Shepherd’s artwork is definitely the highlight. The artwork for this horror story of monsters and hillbillies doing voodoo is surprisingly gorgeous in every way. 

Shepherd very importantly assists Bunn in making this series dark and violent and deserves a lot of credit for what made me recommend it for some Halloween season reading. Monsters, voodoo, murder, blood, and gore all really get me into the Halloween spirit and because of that, Pumpkinhead is perfect reading for this month.

Once again, I hope that these recommendations help you get into the Halloween spirit more than I hope that you already are. This season is best when you immerse yourself in spooky stories and these two series are perfect for that. I hope you enjoy these recommendations and, as always, let me know what you thought by tweeting me at @nathankoffler.
 

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