Cthulhu Tales #7 (Boom! – Augustyn / Cadigan / Hilinski / Reed)
Glen Cadigan presents a haunting story of parental love gone very, very wrong in the present, while Brian Augustyn (Batman: Gotham By Gaslight) tells a tale of years gone by – and the British Empire’s first contact with Cthulhu’s agents of horror in the stunning “Empire Of Ants”. Features two alternate covers by Chee and Michel Fiffe.
Cthulhu Tales is a monthly horror anthology series that is based on the writing and mythology of H.P. Lovecraft. This issue was broken into two stories. “Empire of Ants” was more the philosophical of the pair and was about a man’s struggle to find a reason to continue when he learns about the true insignificance of his existence. “The Awakening” follows a young cult member who goes from trying to expand her horizon with controlled substances to trying to find her purpose in serving the Elder gods with human sacrifice. Before I get to the review proper, let me say this clearly… NOT ONE FOR THE KIDDIES!
This series is very much in the spirit of the Lovecraft writings. That means: very dark plot, messed up characters and unhappy endings. Now, if going in knowing that, you are ready to read on because this is your kind of book, Then Boom!’s Cthulhu Tales delivers! What stands out to me about this series and these writers, is that their stories can scare you more and give you a much deeper sense of haunting and dread than most of the horror books out there, because they use masterful story-telling techniques and unique details rather than gore and exploitation.
These two stories were well-paced and kept tweaking your brain all the way along. These are not Twilight Zone episodes where there is a “normal” plot and some twist at the end that catches you off guard, from frame one you know you are in for a horrifying ride… and the drops keeps getting steeper. This is very well-written for it’s genre. And the art, both of the featured artists complimented the style of their stories, but I was particularly impressed with the lay-out and presentation of Milton Sobreiro in “Empire of Ants”.
This month, both stories were of the “dark and foreboding” nature but sometimes this series will swap in a comic interlude. Last month’s “Cthulhu House” that had reality TV meet Elder gods was quite amusing.
Issue Grade: B
Pullbox Warning: As noted before, this is a horror comic of the most scary kind, very little gore but a big “ooky” factor. These were written with an upper-echelon of horror fan in mind not you pre-teen!