‘The Remains #1:’ Comic Book Review

“For some reason, the stranger reminded me of a scarecrow that had crawled from its perch in the cornfield. Every few steps, he glanced over his shoulder . . . as if he expected to see someone following him.”

From the moment the brooding Cole Jensen arrives at their farmhouse, young Birdie has a bad feeling about him. But, it’s not until the slaughtered rats in their barn come back to life and start dancing that she realizes there may be more to him than meets the eye.

Monkeybrain’s new title, The Remains, is told through the veil of nightmare and nostalgia, telling the story of a young girl and the changes that are coming to her struggling farm and family. With her mother pregnant and her father suffering from rheumatism, the hired hand looks to be a godsend. But, as things spiral into a deepening horror, Birdie learns that the world is full of secrets, and some secrets are best to remain dead.

Writer Cullen Bunn has a canny knack for dialogue and story, capturing the affectionate bickering between Birdie and her younger sister, Abigail, with skill and ease. Yet, he also manages to convey Birdie’s sudden and unexplainable dread at the new presence in their lives without giving into histrionics or cliché. But, it’s artist A.C Zaimundo who should share equal credit with him on this title. With an almost cinematic flair, she lays her panels out with a delicate, orderly precision, which subtly shifts when dealing with Cole Jensen, giving a slight sense of discomfort.

But, once the girls enter the rat-infested barn, the layout takes on a jagged-edged urgency, shifting perspective and style, underlining how things are no longer in balance. It’s a subtle, but masterful, thing, and combined with Bunn’s writing, serves to promise even greater things in the next few issues of this 4-issue digital series.

VERDICT: FOUR Dancing Dead Rats out of FIVE

Last modified on Wednesday, 26 December 2018 20:55

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