The townsfolk of Blue Ash, Ohio have some serious work to do to improve their travel and tourism. It seems that the only one interested in visiting this sleepy town is Satan, and he’s not there to pitch a tent and sing old spirituals around the fire. Nope. He wants to skin the residents, take their flesh, and enter this plane of existence. The only human who knows of Old Scratch’s desires would be Sandra, a lovely young woman who can do nothing but wear tight-fitting clothes and watch helplessly as the Devil comes a knockin’. Her significant other does odd things like stare longingly into a fire pit—in the middle of the day. Yeah, he’s a little possessed, and I don’t mean by things like why are Cleveland fans cheering Lebron’s victory when they were burning his jersey when King James went to Miami?
Also, a silver-haired kid has been drawing kinky pictures of Sandra in bondage with some demons watching. And his legal guardian didn’t seek counseling for the deviant artist or post the images on a social network for perverts to enjoy.
The story is compelling and in tune with the elements of good horror. Readers will feel a sense of true helplessness as the events unravel regarding the last sacrifice and a stunning secret that relates to Sandra’s past.
I’m a bit back and forth on the artwork. Little touches like the shadows of the branches forming the silhouettes of thorny binds on Sandra in the bedroom work effectively. So does the gruesome reveal at the climax of the issue. One demon, however, looks a bit too much like the Succubus from World of Warcraft. One thing I will rave about is the color pallet. The choices of hues and shades that predominate the pages reflect well the tone of the scene. For instance, the opening pages utilize a yellow reflective of the Chief’s discover of a carcass. Great work, Fran Gamboa and J.C. Ruiz on your choices.
Satan’s Hollow cleverly builds suspense and tension, and the book feels well plotted. The fact that there are six issues shows that some planning went into crafting this project. Now if only this series would have ended in October rather August.
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Satan’s Hollow #4 (of 6) Writer: Joe Brusha Artist: Allan Otero Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/29/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital