By Patrick Wolf
Massimo Rosi’s Morning Star is a creepy paranormal thriller about the shaky divide between Hell and Earth. While there’s nothing cutting-edge here, this series is scary, well-drawn, and exciting enough to keep you coming back for more. I’d recommend Morning Star to any fan of the horror genre.
The story kicks off when a hospital patient mysteriously teleports from his bed—leaving two nurses dead. Now, a paranormal detective must now find the source of the portal before it starts letting-things-in instead of taking-them-out. Enlisting the aid of the secret organization, Morning Star, Detective Teller and his team begin their hunt for the ‘Nusku Portal.’ But little do they know, a demon has already infiltrated Earth, and the Nusku portal is much bigger than they ever could have imagined.
So far, this is a pretty interesting series. I know I make it sound fairly generic in the synopsis, but this is not your run-of-the-mill paranormal thriller. Sure, it has a lot of the tropes of the genre (secret organizations, loner detectives, fearless psychics, demon portals, etc.), but these motifs are used to enhance the story, not carry it through. One element that caught my attention was the general sense of creepiness that pervades throughout this narrative. Paskal Millet has a way with tones and shades that makes you feel uneasy and even afraid. Normally, I’m not a fan of this style, but for this series, it was an excellent choice.
I also enjoyed how the creative team didn’t shy away from being brutally graphic. In a time where everyone wants to be PG-13, it’s nice to see someone stick it to the man. That said, if you’re thinking of buying this for your kid, you might want to hold that thought. Not only is this issue violent and gory, but it also has its fair share of full-frontal nudity. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. I’m just saying if you want to get this for your kids, you might want to flip through the pages before making a decision.
Besides giving us a peek at some dude’s goods, the creators also didn’t shy away from showing us what the real monsters look like (wink, wink). This is something I wish they had held back on. While the monsters are done well and look cool, there’s just something about keeping them hidden that makes them that much scarier. I think the beginning of this issue did a great job of sticking to this guideline but ended up showing us the real monster anyway.
That said, this series is intriguing and scary and certainly worth picking up—especially if you’re a horror fan. The artwork is very appropriate for the genre, and some of the scenes of hell are just terrifying. I have a feeling we’re just at the tip of the iceberg and that this series has so much more in store for us. So, if you’re into paranormal thrillers, and if you aren’t grossed-out from naked guys flopping-about, I can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t pick up a copy of Morning Star.
Morning Star #1
Writer: Massimo Rosi
Artist: Paskal Millet
Colorist: Paskal Millet
Letterer: Mattia Gentili
Publisher: Caliber Comics