In 2014, The Evil Within video game was released to gamers who didn’t know what to expect. Touted as one of the scariest games since Silent Hill and the original Resident Evil games, The Evil Within shattered the horror barriers with an acid trip-like journey through a mind-bending world filled with creatures that created more than their fair share of nightmares. With the highly anticipated upcoming release of The Evil Within 2 on October 13, 2017, a comic series has never been better timed. But, with this, The Evil Within: The Interlude #1 (Titan Comics) has its work cut out for it to try to stand up to one of the best video games in years.
Possible Video Game Spoilers Below
As number one of two in its series, this comic book is set just after the events of The Evil Within and appears to also take into account the DLC from the game (The Assignment and The Consequence, which further the game’s story). Detective Sebastian Castellanos has not had it easy since the alleged death of his daughter, Lily. He separated from his wife, Myra, following those events. Three years later, while investigating a mass murder at Beacon Mental Hospital, he found himself an unwilling and unknowing guinea pig for the STEM system, created by evil corporation Mobius.
Having survived the events at Beacon, Sebastian is attempting to make sense of what happened to him, while still being plagued by his daughter’s alleged death. In The Interlude #1, Sebastian meets with a psychiatrist to tell his side of what occurred. He is, of course, met with resistance. In the meantime, a serial killer is hard at work… and the murders seem to be directly tied to Mobius and STEM.
Writer Ryan O’Sullivan manages to capture the world of The Evil Within while staying true to the story of the video game – a difficult feat. The character of Sebastian is written perfectly, and the reader isn’t jarred from video game to comic book. His mannerisms, dialogue, etc. fit his already established character. The story itself, which jumps around as much as the game, brings up more questions about Mobius, STEM, Sebastian’s daughter Lily, his ex-wife Myra, and (of course) his “rookie” ex-partner, Juli Kidman. I am hopeful the second comic will help unravel more mysteries before the follow-up game is released in October.
The art (Szymon Kudranksi and Damien Worm, with additional colors by Guy Major) brings the world of the game directly to the comic book page without missing a beat. The panels illicit the same fears as the game and draw the reader into the comic, just like Mobius abducting another STEM patient. There are three covers with this first issue, all of which are beautifully done. My favorite is the black and white of Sebastian being pulled back under STEM’s control, with the only color being his wedding ring. That one little, sinister detail brings me back to the very end of The Evil Within DLC “The Consequence” and that juicy, little cliffhanger of a revelation. The lettering (Simon Bowland) changes as it should from Sebastian to Juli’s point of views, with Juli’s lettering matching her personality brilliantly.
There is not much to complain about with this comic. If anything, I would have liked to see some more monsters from the video game find their way to the page during Sebastian’s flashbacks, but I have a feeling we’ll get plenty of those crazy things (along with some new ones) in issue #2. All said and done, The Evil Within: The Interlude #1 is a great addition to The Evil Within world and gives video game fans something to tide them over until the release of the second game.