Comics In Review: X-Files Annual & Haunted Horror #10

X-FilesX-Files Annual 2014
Story By: Frank Spotnitz, Gabe Rotter, Shannon Eric Denton, Dave Sim.
Art By: Stuart Sayger, Andrew Currie
Publisher: IDW

Being a huge fan of the Fox TV series from 1993-2002, I was very excited to get a copy of this comic by the X-Files writer, Frank Spotnitz.  We are taken back to the early days of Dana Scully and Fox Mulder while they were investigating one of their first cases for the FBI.  Mulder and Scully were called into a perplexing murder case that took place in Manhattan, New York.  From close investigation of this case, they come to realize things don’t appear as they seem.

Wayne Gold is the main focal point in this spiritual and ghostly tale of a man watching over his wife from “death” till they part and how she is protected from beyond the grave.  As Mulder and Scully dive further into researching this anomaly, they come to realize that there may be something larger at play, a priest with a vengeance.  Like many X-Files comics we have grown to love over the years, this one specific comic had a deeper message with two different villain’s, the real life bad guys, and the afterlife pursuant.  The “Priest” is present throughout the comic as the mediator of the Afterlife that Wayne is shipwrecked onto.  As Wayne assists with keeping his wife aware of “possible” occurrences in the future, he is also trying to break even with his afterlife debt with the Priest.   Mr. Gold once again comes through to assist his wife in staying out of harm’s way, while Scully invites the un-invited neighbor with her own metal party favor.  Mulder comes to terms and realizes the spiritual undertone and how the pieces are slowly coming together and how it correlates with his own spiritual imperfections.

This comic was well done in every aspect of story-line, color usage, back story, spiritual and parapsychology elements.  I thought the team of Stuart Sayger and Andrew Currie really killed it with this comic and visuals were rightfully stimulating.  Each visual panel of this fifty page story was effectively depicted and doesn’t take the focus away from the premise. Frank Spotnitz is known for his sci-fi genre writing style and was nothing shy of greatness in this specific piece.  I was excited to get the opportunity to read this story and highly recommend it to ALL the X-Files fanboys/girls in the world, like myself.

I am giving the X-Files-Annual 2014, 4 out of 5 NerdSkulls.
HauntedHorrorHaunted Horror #10
Story by: Various
Art by: Various
Cover Artist: Cole, L.B.
Publisher: IDW

The “Haunted Horror” saga continues with the newest installment, #10.  This story specifically hit close to home with me for the well-crafted use of 50’s style analogous color schemes, Vincent Price-esque themes, and an ode to the original ghastly story lines that made all of us look under the bed before going to sleep.   This comic has six stories of madness, macabre, and cadaverous events that will drive the reader into the ultimate state of delusion.

The first story, “The Cult of the 13 Ghosts” follows the path of a greedy-middle aged man named, Semple Ridgeon and the spirits awoken from building over the cemetery.  Just like we all saw in the movie, Poltergeist, this story shows when a person exasperates the spirit world, it can turn around, and cause many run-ins with the cult of the “undead.”  Semple had one last, grueling confrontation with this cult of the undead and found the key of ridding these spirits once for and all. All evil must be detained in one shape or another, starting with breaking the one object they hold closest to them, their eternal life sentence.

Another story I thought to be very entertaining in the six story collection, was “The Monster’s Ghost.”  This story takes place with a young businessman by the name Bruce Gibson and his new found investment, an old treacherous haunted house.  Bruce meets a dark passenger at the house bidding and is forewarned on the home’s dark past and deceased guests that haven’t left for many years. Initially, Bruce is a skeptic and almost provokes the spirits to manifest before his eyes to make a believer out of himself and to follow the legend, with facts. The Dark Passenger awakens a monsters ghost to assist Bruce’s tunnel vision for the spirit world.  Bruce’s naivety doesn’t work to his advantage and is cursed by the Monster Ghosts, and given the duties of spreading the word about the monster to the entire world.  If he can convince someone else of these evil beings, the curse will be lifted, and Bruce will be left alone from the spirit world to go on in peace in his newly purchased home.  Will Bruce meet the deadline and convince someone else of these horrific and unbearable circumstances?  …..Only time will tell.

Of all the different artists, writers, and editors involved with these stories in Haunted Horror #10, there is a unique sense of the 1950’s B movie cinematography blended with black and greys of the Universal Monster spectrum.  This was a fine printed trip down the monster memory lane that will satisfy all Horror fans of the past fifty years.

I give this a 3.5 out of 5 NerdSkulls.

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