Clive Barker’s Nightbreed #5
Story: Clive Barker and Marc Andreyko
Art: Piotr Kowalksi and Emmanuel Xerx Javier
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Colors: Juan Manuel Tumburus
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 24, 2014
I wasn’t going to write this review. Really. I’d read Nightbreed #5, enjoyed it thoroughly, and moved on to some other books I’d been waiting to get to, namely Lazarus #11 Low #3 and Chew #43. Nevertheless, like any good story, this one kept pulling at me and begging to have its story ( meta) told.
I was a kid when the 1990 film starring Craig Sheffer was released. I remember watching it and being thoroughly creeped out by the strange citizens of Midian; but fascinated by the idea of a society of monsters.
Nightbreed #5, written by Marc Andreyko, is a great read. Like the other issues in the newly revived series, Boone continues to learn the stories of the the outcasts that have accepted him into their world. Up this time are Annastasjia and Lude, who without reaching to much, could pass for a relatively interesting beauty and the beast.
As with everything else in the necropolis that is Midian, there is much more to these two than first meets the eye. Both have elements in their origins that even for the half-demon Lude, help to humanize them in some unexpected and not altogether cliché ways. In the case of Annastasjia, while we still don’t know exactly why she has a face growing out of her, uh, face just yet, we begin to see that she was once something a lot less physically grotesque than the resident undead cougar she has become.
As for the art, two different artists were tapped to bring the book to life. Used to interesting effect, Piotr Kowalski is responsible for the Boone and Lude panels in this issue, while Emmanuel Xerx Javier handled the Annastasjia renderings. Both artists use an appropriately heavy amount of shadow considering the atmosphere and subject matter. They both also use some surprisingly vivid colors in the flashback sequences that emphasize the emotional connection of the characters to those time periods.
We’ve reached the point in the review where I feel full disclosure is needed; that being said, I’ve never actually read Cabal, the novel the Nightbreed franchise is based on. In spite of this, I feel like the story, as it’s being told here, is well-layered and evenly paced. As Boone becomes acquainted with the hierarchy and logic of his newly adopted micro-culture, we as readers get to experience things through his and his griot’s eyes.
Overall, this is a solid book and fans (like myself) of the property will be sated for a while, at least until the next issue comes out.
By Adam Cadmon