Issue #1 December 2015
Writers: Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen
Artist: Ryan Kelly
Harkening back to the horror comics of Vertigo’s past, Survivors’ Club drums up suspense and horror by pulling inspiration from horror movies of the 1980’s. A list of names is discovered in a dusty old corner of the internet from 1987. It’s a list of people in a chess club, but only 6 of the names on the list are not missing or dead. The six of them all had something terrible happen to them in that year. Chenzira Molenko has sent out an email inviting them to meet and help her find answers. The answers seem to be linked to a strange video game that appeared during Chenzira’s terrible event in 1987. A demo of the game has popped back up. The survivors begin having brief flashbacks of their personal horrors from that year, providing the reader with a glimpse of the past. One survivor did not come to the meeting, leaving plenty of room for wonder and suspicion.
This is a decent first issue that provides a basis of intrigue for issues to come. Just enough of the plot is unveiled for the first issue to make some amount of sense. However, it does not make too much sense and is confusing to an extent. The writers have not laid the plot out there, rather they have given the reader only a taste of what is to unfold. The premise is quite intriguing and offers much promise in the realm of horror. The pacing is quick and gives a sense of urgency and possibly impending doom. Once I finished reading it, I immediately read it again so I could be certain that I had not missed anything. Even though the first issue did not fully suck me in, I found it intriguing enough to want to keep reading in hopes of better development in the second issue.
The artwork is clean with thick bold lines. Many panels are tinted orange, giving the scenes an ethereal twilight atmosphere. The red and orange hues create the emotional charge that is lurking in the story. A few panels have a blue and green saturation, off-setting the emotional panels with a brief moment of cold. I think the character development in the first issue is top notch. Even with only a few lines of dialogue, there can be an understanding of the nature of the characters based upon the artwork alone. The way they are drawn and presented tells the reader so much. For me, the artwork can make or break a comic. This art does not fail the storyline. The story and the art truly complement and balance one another. Where one is lacking, the other picks up. This is essential in a horror comic.
Since the first issue gives minimal information, it is difficult to guess which direction Survivors’ Club will head. It offers the opportunity to be just as great as Vertigo’s horror comics of years past. The first issue is a good read and definitely leaves me wanting to read the next issue. I am excited to see where this story will go.
Rating: 4 skulls out of 5