A Fractured Mind focuses on Christina Claire, a young woman who has been possessed by another being. Christina fights with the creature in her mind to wrest control, but at times she's not strong enough and that's when she's forced to do terrible, unspeakable things. Her internal struggle is represented on the page through abstract images and Christina literally fighting the darkness that's inside of her. This is a brilliant tool that made it much easier to get behind Christina as a character instead of seeing her struggles against her possessor from the outside (which, let's be frank, always looks a bit silly.) To make matters worse, it doesn't look like Christina lives in a universe with a Buffy or a Harry Dresden around the corner (which raises the question, can you give yourself an exorcism?), so she not only has to find her own help, but has to deal with the consequences of her possessor's actions. This premise sounds amazing to me. Possession is a classic tool of the horror genre, but the way the Fractured Mind team is using this device has me very excited to see what's next.
The title excels at building tension. This isn't a slasher comic, though there is occasionally gore. The horror is of the mind and the tone reflects this. Even when nothing bad happens in a scene, I was still afraid every time a character turned a corner. Given the cover image, I expected more horrifying imagery, but the inside of this first chapter didn't do that, but was still able to be violent and brutal without going as in-depth as many horror comics. I was very happy with this compromise, which makes it not only a good horror comic but one that those who can't stomach a ton of gore can handle.
I'm also really interested in the story of Dutch and Stephenson, who are two detectives following up on a string of recent kidnappings of which Christina, just prior to her possession, is the latest victim. The idea of Christina on the run with Dutch and Stephenson following her trail, has me excited. It's a classic trope having a pair of detectives after a suspect who isn't guilty of their crime and has to prove their innocence, but Christina is guilty of her crimes, in a manner of speaking; I'm pretty sure demonic possession doesn't hold a lot of weight in a court of law.
Starting in 2013, we'll get more of Christina's story and will see how she deals with her possession and the police duo looking for answers.