Well this is the first of Dark Horse’s Starting Point issues I’ve seen so far. It’s weird because it is a good starting point, but then every arc/issue of this series has been a great place to start. After the messed up issue last time I almost expected this issue to be a bit tame, but it was anything but tame. In fact it might just be the best issue of the series. The issue has one of the best openings I’ve read in a while, but I don’t want to spoil it so I’ll just jump ahead to a convenience store where we find Abe and Grace. Grace is the woman who Abe freed in the last issue. It is news that they’re traveling together, but it works since Abe is in desperate need of companionship. Strangely enough it also looks like he marks the convenient store with a fish with his head markings like “Abe was here.”
He and Grace come upon a man and woman with a wagon and say hi. The man has a gun and it instantly freaks Grace out. Abe, being Abe, wants to see if they need help. They begin talking and the husband and wife say they’re looking for a healer that’s supposed to be in the area. They show Abe their son who is in the middle of transforming into a monster. Grace continues to freak out and really you can’t blame her after what she’s been through. Suddenly though the sun is gone. Not set, but gone. Abe hears a bell ring and suddenly a man and his shack appear. Let’s just say that tension continues to build and the story progresses in true Mignola fashion.
I can’t say that I understood everything that happened in the story, because I don’t think we’re meant to; at least not yet. The events are strange, but very entertaining. The issue is by far the creepiest one in the series and writers Scott Allie and Mike Mignola even change-up their game further. In previous issues on the series they had been driven by conversations; they’re great conversations, but very little action happens. There’s again not a lot of action, but there’s also not a lot of conversations. Sure there’s talking, but everything and everyone is that of strangers trying to get a feel for the others. No one knows who they can trust and so in that regard Allie and Mignola build the tension masterfully.
As I said, this issue is creepy. The story and dialogue play their role in making it creepy, but then the art takes over on the rest. It is a visual medium so you expect that Sebastian Fiumara’s artwork will carry that aspect of the story. Fiumara does an amazing job on this issue and continues to be a breakout talent in the comic industry. The amount of details that he packs into the opening alone is amazing. He’s also consistent with Grace’s injuries and Abe’s gunshot which could be easily forgotten or missed.
You can’t leave out Dave Stewart as his coloring makes this issue and series, what it is. The way that Stewart brings Fiumara’s artwork to life is just incredible. The two combine to make a beautiful book, which is strange to say because it is a creepy ass issue.
Is this issue truly a great spot to jump on? Yes it is, but more importantly it’s one of the best issues of the week period. Hell I’m going to go ahead and say that it’s the best issue in the series thus far and I can’t wait to see what the next issue will bring.
Writers: Mike Mignola and Scott Allie Artist: Sebastian Fiumara Colorist: Dave Stewart Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 6/11/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital