Shock Value: Legacy – Various (Hellbound Media)

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A collection of short comics inspired by famous monsters sounded right up my street even though like with many of Hellbound Media’s comics it’s in black and white. However there are a range of art styles on offer which for the most part enhance the stories. Lyndon White is one of my favourite comic artists although this is the first time I’ve saw his work without the bright colours he specialises in. But it still works. The flowing lines, blurry backgrounds and great use of weather show how much of a nightmare The Demeter is.

Another artist who stood out for me in this collection is James Grey. His eerie backgrounds including the pattern used create a supernatural effect even before his amazing monster images. As I said before the art in a few of the comics didn’t enhance the story and in Meek and Bloodsucking Teenage Biker Mummy it actually lessened my enjoyment of the tales.

Writing wise like any anthology some stories hit the mark for me and some didn’t. However it wasn’t a case of all my favourite stories being at the start which makes a change. The influence of classic horror can be seen often in the collection. For instance the first story reminded me of the episode of Twilight zone where a kid controls everything and the adults are too scared to disagree.

Elle Bounds story is obviously about the Creature from the Black lLgoon.  These stories still had twists in them that kept me entertained, particularly Promethan Particle with its modern day Frankenstein feel. Other stories have looser links to the classics such as Do You See which as a whodunnit mystery was a nice change in genre and even the language used. My favourite however was Youth as it kept me guessing the longest and is possibly the most tragic tale in this collection which is gothic yet modern in both its tone and art style.

 One final thing of note about this collection is that the human condition plays a part in many stories. Whether its love, greed or disappointment these feelings are central to most stories instead of simple tales that glorify in monstrous, and monster centric, destruction. David Jenkins

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