Red Mother #3
The visions through Daisy's prosthetic eye are getting stronger — and it's getting harder every day to resist their call. When a mysterious puzzle shows up on Daisy's doorstep, will it provide the answers she's looking for, or only draw her deeper into the world of the Red Mother?
Now in its third issue, Red Mother moves a bit slowly but is nonetheless laden with intrigue and suspense. As in previous issues, Jeremy Haun’s narrative follows Daisy through a combination of the supernatural and the incredibly human. Daisy’s emotional distance from her friend and the outside world is heartbreaking but understandable. Her fears and insecurities are relatable, even if her experiences with horrifying monstrosities, mysterious strangers, and puzzle boxes may not be.
One refreshing change Red Mother offers from the standard horror formula is its perspective (so far) on the medical profession and trauma. The comic follows Daisy’s psychological and physical treatment following the loss of her eye, but neither her doctor nor therapist is malicious. Rather, they do their best to treat to her physical and emotional pain. Hospital visits and therapy feel vulnerable and even scary, as they can in real life, but not because they are objectively evil.
The art from Danny Luckert remains generally strong, though sometimes hindered by stiff facial expressions. Luckert’s art really shines when the dialogue is at a minimum, with the page that follows Daisy on a night out being particularly hard-hitting.
Similarly strong are the pages showing the ghastly hovering form of a red woman in a crumbling ruin. (Red Mother?) Her body seems to coalesce and strengthen more with every issue and makes her all the more forbidding. Her character design, while arresting, owes perhaps a bit too much to the ghosts that haunt the Guillermo del Toro film Crimson Peak. While more self-assured and in control, she nonetheless has the same sagging breasts and damaged skull, and of course the same hue. It’s a wee bit hard to ignore.
That gripe aside, these monochromatic pages show Luckert’s ability to create depth with black linework and variations of red is impressive and effective.
Haun’s cover is intriguing, though feels slightly muddy due to Haun’s excessive use of mid-tones and lack of darker values. That said, the semi-anatomical diagram of the heart puzzle and the painterly portrait of Daisy behind it are over all both beautiful.
Red Mother #3 offers a beautiful balance of humanity, mystery, and monstrosity. It also proves this title is still worth keeping an eye on.
Red Mother #3: Horror is Where the Heart Is
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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