|THE OCTOBER FACTION No. 1, November 2014|
Created by “30 Days Of Night” writer Steve Niles and “Monster And Madman” artist Damien Worm, this inaugural issue of “IDW Publishing’s ongoing horror series” must surely have intrigued the vast majority of its 9,181 readers upon its release in October 2014, as its sinisterly chilling plot concerning “a former monster hunter named Fred Allan who wants to keep his family from falling apart and stop his kids from following the same path he did” is wonderfully intriguing, and promises plenty of vampire-slaying and werewolf-killing in future editions. Indeed the horror novelist’s narrative, which initially focuses upon young Geoff informing “knuckle-dragging” High School bully Phillip that the Jock’s three dead friends will haunt him until he’s more pleasant, is enthrallingly disturbing right from the start, especially when the artwork depicts the grisly remains of Mark, Jonah and Rick clawing at a whitening “Phil”; “The dead do not like liars… Rick wasn’t driving. You were. You were drunk. You killed all your friends, and they are very upset with you.”
Even more enticing however has to be “freak-job” Frederick’s meeting after “almost forty years since we worked together” with ex-partner Lucas, even if the long-time friends’ conversation in itself isn’t all that riveting. What is though is the incredible flashback scene concerning the Harlow Family investigation that their reunion entails. For whilst the white-haired teacher discusses his investments, failing marriage and the fact his children “aren’t kids anymore”, the New Jersey-born writer takes the opportunity to depict the death-dealing duo in their prime blasting away fanged fiends with pistols when they’ve left the holy water in the car, tackling a horde of furry beasts on a dilapidated porch and dodging huge swinging scythe-shaped pendulums in the home of a homicidal maniac.
Far less action-packed, yet equally as unnerving, is Niles’ depiction of the precognitive Miss Vivian and her brother's successful ‘secret project’ to both summon an apparition using a magic circle and then contain it inside the closet. Just why the siblings wish to impress their father by snagging a “pretty upset” spirit “wandering around the house” is not entirely clear. But then again neither is Deloris’ visit to an isolated storage bay and her secretive unboxing of the seemingly long-dead Robot Face…
Arguably this twenty-page periodical’s most unsettling strength though is Damien Worm’s horrendously hair-raising “under-drawing”; a style that makes “The October Faction” look ‘like a horror comic as opposed to a superhero book’ with its venomous vampires, grisly head-shots and freakish phantoms. In fact the technique is so “perfect for horror” that at times the panels actually appear photorealistic and many fans of the Spanish painter must have been heartened by this title’s American author promising, during a pre-publication interview, that he was “going to keep that guy busy for a long time.”
|The regular cover art of "THE OCTOBER FACTION" No. 1 by Damien Worm|