- Writer: Matt Hardy
- Artist: Edward Bentley
- Publisher: Mad Robot Comics
- Release Date: January 2017
Cadavers, the new series by writer Matt Hardy and Edward Bentley seems time given the news. In an age where our politicians fearmonger about immigrants, it makes newcomers to our shores uncomfortable. What if those immigrants came from another dimension? And they happened to be ghouls and goblins? Cadavers 1: Doppelgänger explores this situation in a creepy, topical comic.
Our story takes place in the fictional Eastern European nation of Altrasania, where the boundary between our world and the creepy parallel world of Barlas, is thin. Here, Spectrals, or Cadavers, have fled a plague ravaging their homeworld. As they resemble the various undead of our myths and legends, they have become a Romani like underclass in this nation. Now, a populist politician running for high office says he will get rid of the Spectrales and send them back to where they belong (sound familiar?). A group of five Spectrals decide to take the fight to him. These include a violent poltergeist, an alcoholic boogeyman, and our protagonist, a shape-shifting doppelganger who is the linchpin of the plan. The plan – get in, kill the politician, and replace him with the doppelganger. But will this hasty plan succeed?
Mysterious And Spooky
Given recent events, the comic is timely. It also shows how desperate these characters are to remain in their new homes, and desperate not to return to their old world. However, other than the doppelganger, the core group feels a bit undercooked and fall into various character tropes. That isn’t to say it’s a bad story, far from it. It just feels a bit cliche. The fun comes in the dialogue; each of the core five members of the group have a unique feel to their voices to separate them from the others. However, there might be too much dialogue in some places, overwhelming the reader. The politician also is cartoonishly evil, but at the same time is eerily similar to some world leaders in his nastiness. However, he shows some smarts, making him a threat to our Cadaver heroes.
Bentley’s art is a bit cartoonish, but it has a nice creepy feel that lends itself well to the story. The character designs are very unique, and the backgrounds are well executed. He also isn’t afraid to go a bit more surreal for some panels, adding to the creepiness of the story’s atmosphere. He also chooses a suitable color palate for the comic, but he overuses browns, grays, greens, and yellows a tad. But given these are colors embraced by our protagonists, it’s not too surprising that we see these colors in abundance.
Not quite alive, but not dead on arrival, Cadavers 1: Doppelgänger is a good starting point for this new horror-adventure series. Readers will have a fun romp with the undead, but some of the wordiness might turn off some readers.
Check out the Kickstarter campaign for Cadavers 2: Poltergeist here.
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