Silent Hill is a horror based survival game video game that is not new to the comic book world. Enter Silent Hill: Downpour: Anne’s Story. A tie in that follows a secondary character from the video game’s narrative. Well…yeah okay let’s do that. As Anne’s fingers dig into the cliff side she fights to hang on. In seconds her grip slips and she falls into the black abyss. Images of days prior rush over her. She works at the prison, like her father. She is an officer in charge of an inmate transfer. In the middle of the transfer the bus wrecks near Silent Hill, killing and freeing some of the inmates. As Anne attempts to figure out what is happening she delves deeper and deeper into Silent Hill.
Like most licensed IP that receive the comic book treatment the main goal is to appease the core fans. Of course there is a desire to bring in new fans but with something like Silent Hill: Downpour: Anne’s Story it’s not the strongest foot to put forward in the narrative sense. Anne as a character doesn’t contain enough depth to build a sturdy foundation. That’s the reason she is a supporting character in the game. Sure she aids in the game’s second narrative but it’s still undetermined if it can carry a full-blown narrative. Granted it’s the location of Silent Hill that does all of the work but you still need a rich protagonist to really champion that fact.
Not to say that there isn’t something to enjoy in this book; the art from Jones works well and Waltz does a satisfactory job by incorporating Anne into main plot points from the game. A decent example is when Anne interacts with JP Slater, a tour guide operator, who had an accident that cost eight kids their lives. You get to experience the same moment from the game with a slightly different point of view.
To say Silent Hill: Downpour: Anne’s Story is odd release from IDW would be an understatement. It’s based off the video game of the same name that came out two years ago. That’s not a bad thing per say but my question is what took so long to release this comic book tie in? Was there a delay or was it bumped on the shipping schedule? Were there some contract issues with the talent?
Regardless, Silent Hill: Downpour: Anne’s Story is a hard book to review for me because I am a fan of the franchise. As a fan I already had an investment to Anne and her story. So I do like the book. On the other side of coin if you’re new to the franchise or just “kind of heard about it” this title doesn’t have the draw to bring new eyes to it.
Writer: Tom Waltz Artist: Tristan Jones Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/3/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital