I Walk With Monsters #1
In Jacey's past is the Important Man who took away her brother. Now Jacey has David, who sometimes transforms into a terrifying beast. Together, they've found a way to live to hunt, sniffing out men who prey on the vulnerable. But Jacey and David are about to run into the Important Man again. From Paul Cornell (Wolverine, Doctor Who, Elementary) and Sally Cantirino (Last Song, We Have To Go Back) comes a haunting story about the monsters that walk beside us all, and sometimes lurk within.
TW: Abuse, rape, PTSD...
I Walk With Monsters #1 isn’t a comic to be taken lightly, it’s an emotionally challenging tale of the impacts surrounding cyclical abuse and the male aggression, confronting trauma and our own coping mechanisms that occur.
Vault is no stranger to horror and I Walk With Monsters is the latest in their horror-centric Nightfall lineup. Following main characters Jacey and David as they hunt down abusers, rapists and worse, the series is unafraid to delve into the true horrors of the world and draw a stark difference with the monsters that walk among us and how we exact our revenge or otherwise. It’s mythical in a sense, with David’s transformations seemingly inspired by Japanese demons and creatures found often in manga stories. But it’s also a vision of a harsh reality for too many people. Abuse in its worst of forms gives the series a tough-to-stomach edge that not many other stories could pull off with such tact.
The explorations of the psychological toll such abuse takes on its victims is where the first issue of I Walk With Monsters delivers such a powerful story. The nuance of the Important Man, apparently the ultimate villain in a story full of evil, is outlined by the inability to pinpoint their true identity. They could be anyone and they could be anywhere. That is the true horror of this comic and there is no denying, it is absolutely terrifying. Paul Cornell has tapped into a violent notion that is worthy of exploring not for the sake of its own deprivation, but for the voice it offers to victims and the struggle of coping. The character work isn’t lost in melancholy however, as Jacey is a determined individual and David is certainly someone who has been pushed to their boundaries. Their pursuit is the driving force of the series against a backdrop of the worst that humanity has to offer.
For all its darkness and disturbing themes, Sally Cantirino pulls off some magnificent depictions in the first issue. Of course David steals the spotlight with his transformation, giving the story a fantastical element that works well within the narrative. The interactions and visual character dynamics carry the majority of the issue and give it a sense of responsibility. Expressions are poignant and though it is a speedy read, the pacing feels fluid. Dearbhla Kelly gives the first issue a stark tone with a color palette that is moody and elevates the emotions in wonderful ways while Andworld Design takes advantage of minimal dialogue with solid letters.
This creative team obviously has a story to tell and while it might not be an easy pill to swallow, it’s a great example of how horror can be so much more than just a montage of gore. It is also a platform for the most visceral of human expression. I Walk With Monsters #1 delves into the horrors of our own reality and blends just the right amount of mythical elements to give it the depth it needs. Invoking genre classics like the works of Stephen King and many others, the latest horror series from Vault packs an emotional punch by using real life terrors as a catalyst for something truly worthwhile.
For fans of horror and stories of revenge, I Walk With Monsters shows potential to be a great comic series, handling topics that we too often avoid entirely and confronting them head on.
I Walk With Monsters #1 isn't a comic to be taken lightly, it's an emotionally challenging tale of real-life horror, promising readers a story with a dark edge and a powerful voice.
I Walk With Monsters #1: I’ll Never Forget His Face
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9.5/109.5/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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