By Daniel Vlasaty
Life has not gotten any easier for Adrian. If anything, it’s actually gotten worse. After his past-life regression therapy in issue #1, his nightmares are worse and his life around them is starting to fall apart too. There are more bugs and more visions and the horror is getting more and more real for our main boy. Cullen Bunn and Danny Luckert are building something here and it’s creeping and violent. The second issue of Regression is a strong follow up to what I thought was a great first issue and I am looking forward to continue reading this series.
Like I said in my last review for this book, Cullen Bunn is usually hit or miss for me. For instance I reviewed his other new book, BOOM! Studios’ The Unsound, last week, and I didn’t particularly like it all that much. I would call that one kind of a miss. But I am digging Regression and I would say that it’s probably a hit. I like the idea of exploring past lives and dreams. And in this case, I have no idea where the book is going to take us. I like that it’s a murder mystery and a horror book together. This combination’s been done before, but it doesn’t feel like a recycled storyline so much here.
One thing I will say about Regression is that it seems to be more about the imagery and reaction than it is about character development and world building. Adrian’s an interesting character, but he’s kind of flat. There isn’t much too him other than his nightmares and the horrors he faces on a daily basis. But I guess it kind of makes sense that there wouldn’t be much else underneath all that when it has basically completely taken over his life at this point. But I am interested in seeing and learning more about Adrian’s past-life alter ego, Sutter, and his sexy, buggy orgies.
Some of the other characters are flat too. I have a feeling I already know everything I’ll need to know about Molly and Detective Graymercy. Molly is self-obsessed, as evidenced by her complaining about why there isn’t a coffee waiting for her before she even gets to the restaurant, totally ignoring the fact that her friend is in a full-on crisis. I have a feeling Detective Graymercy is going to turn out to be a bulldog. A great detective, never wavering from the job ahead. But maybe I’m wrong. I’d just like a bit more in terms of character development.
I’m really enjoying Danny Luckert’s art in Regression. It’s got a simple and messy, but still solid and realistic, feel to it. It’s not too overly detailed and I think most of the panels have a good use of empty space. What I mean is that there are a decent amount of panels that are just simple images and colors, but it never feels like it’s lacking. It never feels unfinished. I think, in a weird way, it kind of adds to the feeling of confusion and paranoia and isolation. Marie Enger does the letters and the colors. And I like the colors. They are solid and lightly shadowed. The art has an almost digital look to it. the art team is great here and they’re doing an amazing job of capturing the gruesomeness and the messiness of the book.
Even if you’re not into the story in Regression, I would recommend this book on the art alone, at least to check it out.
I like a good horror book as much as the next guy. But I like when my horror feels fresh and digs deep into the mind and body. I like it messy and kind of gross and weird. And Regression has all of this. As long as Bunn stays away from the clichés this book can really become a unique and interesting thing. I have high hopes after reading these first two issues.