Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Clive Barker's Nightbreed: Volume 1 (2015)

Authors: Clive Barker / Marc Andreyko  |  Illustrator: Piotr Kowalski  |  Page Count: 112

"Midian calls to all of her children. No matter where we are..."

Given the choice, I’d rather have had a sequel novel than a prequel comic book, but a comic version of Nightbreed that's canon is better than nothing at all, I guess.

It’s a story set in the present, broken periodically with flashbacks to years before. To confuse matters, the 'present' is the year the film is set, so, yes, you'll need to have viewed the film prior to reading, and the flashbacks are from a number of different perspectives, each one telling the story of how a particular member of the collective lived prior to finding the safety of Midian.

I had a secret hope that the series would do what the film failed to do: flesh out the inner-workings of Midian and deepen the concerns of the creatures, warts and all beyond just: we may be ugly on the outside but humans are morally uglier on the inside. With that in mind, it begins badly. Presenting Peloquin as a kind of monstrous version of Wolverine was worrying. Thankfully, his story is just one of many spread out over the years with each era given its own visual look.

The histories continue in a similarly bland fashion until the end of issue three. Without going into detail, an unexpected element is introduced that may (fingers firmly crossed) turn out to be a pivotal happening further down the line. There are a number of different routes it could take and I'm guessing that most—if not all—of them end in bloodshed. The only question is whose blood; Natural or Nightbreed?

The cover art by Riley Rossmo is excellent but misleading. Only about half of those shown actually feature in the first volume. I didn't feel cheated because squeezing any more in would've made the story seem even more piecemeal than it already is, but it's worth mentioning, nonetheless, in case one of those pictured is your favourite and you were really hoping to find them inside.

The book collects together Clive Barker's Nightbreed issues 1-4 (of 12).

2½ learned behaviours out of 5


cuckoo said...

I only got about 4 issues into this and quit.

You're much better off with the original 25-issue run from Epic comics in the early '90's.

They weren't prequels but sequels, following Boone & Friends in some issues and others focused on Breed from all over the world.

Dr Faustus said...

I've a few of the earlier collected volumes, but not the complete set. Same with Tapping the Vein, some but not all.

If I’d been buying this one on a monthly basis I’d likely have given up, too. There are only twelve issues, which means three books in total. Vol 2 isn't out until Jan 2016, so I've plenty of time to decide if I want to give it second chance or not.