Review: Dark Lady Vol. 1

Dark Lady has an interesting origin. It actually tells you the entire origin behind the anthology’s creation in the comic so I won’t diminish the story with a simple repeat, but one part stood out to me.

Spawned from a combination of wrath, love, and stubbornness…

If you’re going to do any kind of indie anthology, well you can’t beat that combination of emotions. The series itself doesn’t follow a particular character, rather it’s a clever name for a horror anthology made entirely by women. Like all anthologies, there are good and great stories and a few that didn’t interest me personally. I’ll mention a few that stood out one way or another to me, but there are several I won’t touch on in the 80-page collection.

“Body Images” was an interesting tale. I can’t say much about it because the twist is what makes the story, but there’s a beautiful woman that hates mirrors and refuses to look at them. The story gave me a very Twilight Zone/Outer Limits vibe to it. It wasn’t so horrific as it was just interesting and strange. The art work is unfinished looking, but I didn’t have a problem with it. It was detailed and looked great with the story.

“The Cats Came Back” funny and horrific. If you love cats, you’ll have a laugh. If you hate cats… maybe you’ll be scared. I enjoyed it and found it to be morbid. The art was okay. I could see the artist kind of improving as the story went on and finding their style more and more.

darklady-color-cover-draft-2-lisa-pearson“The Procedure” was the best story of the anthology and something that every male comic reader should read. I do and don’t want to spoil it for you, but basically we see a woman going through a very strange procedure and then there’s a lot of commentary about the comic book industry and the comic fandom, but then also how women are treated in society as well. The sad part is that this story is so close to reality that some probably won’t find it “horrific”, but that’s exactly why it is. Lindsay Moore and Maria Photinakis crafted a story that’s very relevant in the conversation of who comics are for, because if you think the answer isn’t “everyone” then you’re probably a part of the problem. Alright, I’m getting too ranty.

The rest I’d rather leave for you. There’s a couple of stories with really good art, but overall the art is just okay on most of the stories. I do have to acknowledge Hana-Pirita Lehkonen for having the best art of the anthology. I was instantly drawn to her style and liked her quirky and strange as fuck story. There was only one story that had art that I didn’t particular like, but that’s it. There’s some talent here and if they continue to develop I would check in with each artist again.

The stories have a range obviously. There’s one story that’s kind of campy, another that was trippy and another that didn’t make a lot of sense. Overall though, the stories had a range of horror. There was suspense, gore and just creepy shit. I was glad that it wasn’t the same theme over and over, but rather an umbrella of the genre, cover a little of everything.

There’s going to be a second volume of Dark Lady and after reading the first volume I would definitely check it out when it hits Kickstarter. Personally when I read comics I just want to read good comics regardless of who the creator is, but that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate successes like Dark Lady that put together a group of talented women and used a bit of wrath, love and stubbornness to produce an entertaining horror anthology.

Score: 3/5

Dark Lady Vol. 1 Writers: Various Artists: Various Publisher: Hellcat Press Price: $ Format: TPB; Print Website