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Review – Crypt of Shadows #1 (Marvel Comics)

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Crypt of Shadows
Overall
7.5/10
7.5/10
  • Writing - 8/10
    8/10
  • Art - 7/10
    7/10
  • Overall - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
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Summary

Writer: Al Ewing

Artist: Garry Brown, Stephen Green, Djibril Morissette-Pham

Colorist: Chris O’Halloran

Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham

Maturity Rating: Teen +

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Release: January 23, 2019

Crypt of Shadows returns to Marvel Comics with a new horrifying tale that is sure to bring you a fright.

 

“Fear of the Dark” Crypt of Shadows #1

 

Anybody that has done a little research into the history of comics knows that horror comics used to rule the land back in the late 1940s through the early 1950s. That is until 1955 when the comics code was introduced. Gone was all the murder and gore, vampires, werewolves, ghouls and goblins were no more. Heroes and capes came back in style. Marvel wants to celebrate its 80-year legacy by bringing back some long forgotten anthology series. With Crypt of Shadows #1, they celebrate the history of horror in comics, with a tale not to be read in the dark!

Writing/Story

Marvel Comics Crypt Of Shadows #1
Marvel Comics Crypt Of Shadows #1

Whom better than Al Ewing to script Crypt of Shadows #1? He has been writing one of the best Hulk series currently going on with a heavy horror theme to it in The Immortal Hulk (you should really be reading it). Ewing knows how to nail the creepy tone and atmosphere that these horror anthologies need (DC did a great horror anthology story last week with Justice League Dark #7 as well). Usually, in these anthology books we just get a few random stories with no connection, but in Crypt of Shadows #1, Ewing gives us one complete eerie story told in three different story points.

What starts off as an innocent tale of a man trying to rid himself from his fear of dogs turns into a macabre of deceit, murder and grave robbing! Ewing masterfully weaves this tale from one point to the next. I was a little upset that we didn’t get three different stories, but it was very interesting how Ewing laid out the tale. We kind of start at the end/beginning of the story, then to the middle and then the actual beginning and then at the end but actually were we started. I know that sounds terribly confusing but I can’t go into more details without spoiling it.

Ewing does do a fantastic job of catching that horror anthology vibe with his writing. I am a big fan of the old horror books, so it was nice that Ewing nailed that ominous, chilling tone with his writing.

Art

The art on Crypt of Shadows #1 is where it makes it weird that it was just not three separate stories. We have three different artists for the three different story points. Garry Brown starts and ends the issue with his rougher textured lines and more “sketchy” style. It works well as the dirtier look feels at home for the issue. It also ends the issue with a very creepy looking dog eating a bat that looks wonderful ghoulish. After Brown introduces us to the story we switch to Stephen Green who has a little more detailed style. His lines are a little bolder and a lot tighter than Browns. His character also has a more cartoonish animated feel to them. Green’s work was actually my favorite of the issue. With a little more detailed and animated characters it hit that ice spot for me.

We then switch to Djibril Morissette-Pham who has a completely different style. Very bold ink lines, but less detailed character work. It is almost like Chris Samnee’s type vein. I was not a huge fan of Morissette-Pham’s work it just felt completely off from what Green and Brown delivered.

I think the art changeup would have worked a lot better if we would have had three separate stories. The artist all did a good job of catching the tone and feel of the story though. In that aspect, great praise has to be given to colorist Chris O’Halloran as he did a great job switching his colors from artist to artist and from the different story points. Even in the “brighter” spots of the story O’Halloran’s colors kept that fiendish vibe to the story.

Conclusion

If you like horror comics then you will definitely dig Crypt of Shadows #1. Ewing writes a delectable horror tale. The art is a little bit of hit and miss and I do wish it was broken up into three separate stories though. All in all, I had a good time reading the issue and hope Marvel does a few more of these. There is also a good essay in the back about Marvels history with horror comics. If you want to learn more about horror comics, in general, I suggest picking up The Horror! The Horror!: Comic Books the Government Didn’t Want You to Read.


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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