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‘A Voice in the Dark:’ Graphic Novel Review (Serial Drama)

In a discussion of Larime Taylor’s A Voice in the Dark, there are going to be a bunch of comparisons to Dexter. This is a good comparison to make, the troubled serial killer trying to live a normal life and having an inside connection to the police and so on. This makes perfect sense, but I think the story owes more to Heathers and Pump up the Volume. There is a strong layer of dark ’80s teen dramedy in this excellent comic.

The story follows Zoey Aarons, aspiring radio host, college freshman, and killer. She is trying to fit into college and keeps having little daydreams about murdering the annoying people in her life that are pulled straight out of Heathers. Also like Heathers, the comedy in this comic is pervasive and bleak, with a strong focus on the abuse of power and the fantasy of revenge.

Zoey brings an interesting blend of coldblooded and remorseful to the standard serial killer trope. She doesn’t want to kill, but feels little guilt and a strong desire to kill again. As a result, she is a fascinating lead character who has a lot of depth. This, along with the strong cast of supporting characters, helps keep A Voice in the Dark from falling into any of the traps that so often ruin a serial killer story. There is also a bit of the killing-as-addiction that is as good as I have ever seen.

In short, this is a spectacular comic that easily navigates some of the most treacherous waters around. You root for Zoey, but you don’t root for her to kill. At least not most of the time. The annoying girl in the ethics class is pretty terrible. The struggle to keep a lid on her violent nature is the heart of the comic, and it is compelling as heck.

This is an easy recommendation. I liked the characters, the premise, and the story. But, I loved the execution. This comic does a great job of dealing with something that is messed up far more often than not.

Four Heathers out of Five

Ben Rhodes, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor


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