‘Death Follows:’ Advance TPB Review

As a society who has embraced entertainment on a euphoric scale, we seek happy endings to the point at which we’ve forgotten what a good horror story should be. One that plays on our fears, even as the lights come up. And if there is a happy ending, what was lost to get us there? What part of ourselves or others have we given up? Other horror stories have taken this idea to the nihilistic extreme, treating the sheer act of unavoidable torture as something that is scary. The art of the horror story has been (for the moment) mostly lost. That’s why when a tale like Cullen Bunn’s Death Follows comes around, I let loose a huge sigh of relief.

I’m not going to give any spoilers here, but Bunn’s Death Follows tackles one of the scariest kinds of horrors on the face of the earth. One of the most awful and despicable things imaginable.

Birdie is a farm girl on the edge of becoming a teenager, and she has a younger sister named Abigail. One day, a stranger named Cole Jensen with a wickedly big grin (big enough to almost swallow his own face) wanders in looking for work. Birdie compares him to a scarecrow that’s left his own post. The stranger gets food and board from the father in exchange for work, but Birdie doesn’t like him. He gets under her skin and ours, without even knowing why he’s there. Along with the stranger comes ominous and downright unwelcome tidings. One such event involves a bunch of chewed-up rats dancing back to life. These events culminate in an ending that’s appropriately dark and surprisingly gut wrenching.

All of these events are brought (back) to grisly life by the artistic renderings of A.C. Zamudio (artist) and Carlos Nicolas Zamudio (colorist). There’s such talent in this duo. You can feel the sweat and dirt on you as you savor the panels. Anyone that can draw a smile or a pair of eyes that embeds themselves in your mind is doing something incredibly right.

Bunn plays with our perception here, because we’re seeing this from the outside and with the wisdom of knowing that we should never judge a book by its cover. We sway back and forth between thinking Birdie is misjudging Cole based upon his presence and being immensely creeped out by the man as well. How it plays out is truly satisfying, if you’re a lover of horror stories, while remaining genuinely upsetting in the spirit of real horror stories. A victory isn’t always a victory.

Go to top