It may be the middle of May for you and I fellow comic book fans. But to the characters of Wraith, Christmastime is every day. Unfortunately for them this "Christmasland" in which they are trapped, is more Jingle Hells than Jingle Bells. The halls here are being decked with blood of many (fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la). Santa Claus has claws and they are plenty sharp. This place of dreams is the stuff of nightmares. And I give huge credit to writer Joe Hill and artist C. P. Wilson III for taking such pleasant and innocent childhood desires and turning them into a delightfully wicked level of evil perversion. It is creepy fun the whole year round. And it provides excellent prequel backstory to one sinister Charles Manx, the numero uno baddie in Hill's bestselling novel NOS4RTU. All I can really say about the whole series is that it is best read at night, with lights dimmed. This one really makes your skin crawl. Issue six does not let up from that skin crawling one single, solitary bit, as we are following the struggle of our remaining survivors (two escaped convicts and a prison guard) as they work to escape from this fun park of terror and its tiny sharp teethed inhabitats who happen to be children under Manx's control ready to do his sinister bidding. As for Manx himself, he suffered a pretty nasty head shot from one King Geek (one of the convicts) and appears to be out of commission (maybe). What ensues from here is more creepiness, white knuckle action, and perhaps some hopeful inspiration at least for one of our convicts who really is nothing more than a victim of circumstance as to why he is where he is.
C. P. Wilson III's art continues to dazzle and disgust at the same time with Hill's writing rendering a strong punch to the gut with its richness and horror. Hill takes the time to really personalize these people to where you see them as people who do have stories. It is a fullness that adds substance to the comic. As a reader, you feel vested. It makes you cringe when things happen to them. And things do happen to them, all of them, even Manx. Hill keeps you captivated.
As issue six finishes up, we are beginning to hit the wind down mode of the story. Lines have been drawn and something is going to happen. The fun part is that we don't know if that something will be good or bad. The only thing we know for sure is that it will be entertaining.
Writer: Joe Hill Artist: C.P. Wilson III Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/14/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital