Saturday, 23 April 2016

The October Faction #3 - IDW Publishing

THE OCTOBER FACTION No. 3, December 2014
Despite the fact Steve Niles’ narrative for “Issue Three of “The October Faction” initially starts off slowly by focusing upon Geoff taking his first hesitant steps towards developing a friendship with Phil the Jock, this twenty-page periodical’s storyline soon starts to produce plenty of sinister shenanigans and spine-chilling skirmishes. Indeed even a scene as sentimentally sedentary as Frederick’s bedside vigil for his badly battered wife somehow manages to become something of a grisly gore-fest as the elderly monster-hunter’s ‘rose-tinted’ recollection of their “great first date” gruesomely features a few gratuitously graphic panels of the couple brazenly blowing the brains out of some flesh-eating zombies. “Brakka! Brakka! Brakka!”

Such a pervading sense of the macabre within this title’s writing has already seen the New Jersey-born novelist being hailed as “the King of Horror in our comic book world” by the likes of “Kick-Ass” co-creator Mark Millar, and the American author seemingly lives up to such a prestigious accolade once Miss Vivian rather foolishly decides to “walk home” alone during an eerily forlorn night and is consequently stalked by the sinister-looking Robot Face. It’s certainly hard to believe that the hearts of many of this publication’s 6,445 strong audience didn’t start beating faster when the Frankenstein-like automaton confronted the isolated Gothic adolescent and menacingly mouths “Your father… Killed my father.”

Fortunately Niles seems just as adept at penning action as he is creating an aura of foreboding mystery, and the subsequent fist-fight between the red-eyed, hoody-wearing Dante and the Lycanthrope Lucas is as engrossing as the brawl’s numerous punches look powerfully painful… Although even this wonderfully ‘over-the-top’ contest between two supernatural ‘heavyweights’ surprisingly pales in comparison to the utter shock experienced when Frederick encounters Merle Cope in the Allan Household living room and casually shoots him dead for having beaten up Deloris.

Ultimately however the success of this “perfect book to start the Fall” arguably rests upon the shoulders of Damien Worm and his “healthy serving of muddy hues, expressive inking and horrifying ghouls.” The hauntingly blue visuals created by the digital artist during Vivian’s ill-advised night-time jaunt through the local park induce a genuine atmosphere of claustrophobia. Whilst his decision to use grey tones for Frederick’s fearsome flashback immediately draws the eye to the illustrations’ crimson balloons, zombie clown nose and scarlet splattered brains.
Writer: Steve Niles, Illustrator: Damien Worm, and Letterer: Shawn Lee


  1. So, obviously a big improvement over issue #2. Good. What did worry me the most about your review was the very low number of buyers. 6,445 is very low, in my opinion. But I guess other comics with even lower figures still carry on so maybe I'm being too pessimistic.

    1. Hi Bryan. Very much an improvement and #4 continues this trend fortunately too. I wouldn't be too worried about such a seemingly low audience for an "IDW Publishing" title, as the most they tend to generate is around the 18k range; and that's currently for their "Back To The Future" tie-in title. If it were a "DC Comics" or "Marvel Worldwide" title then you're quite right it'd be gone... as has sadly just happened to "Howling Commandos Of S.H.I.E.L.D."; despite a 12k audience.