Vincent Price: Tales from the Darkness #4
Written by CW Cooke
Illustrated by Ezequiel Rosingana
Colored by Doris Lotewing
Lettered by David Hopkins
Cover by Graham Hill
Release Date: June 19, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99
Punishment for the idle observers of war is the hard-hitting theme of Vincent Price: Tales from the Darkness #4, the latest installment in the series from Bluewater Comics.
Current events in horror comics are sure to push buttons with readers because of our intimate connection to the reality of these horrors thanks to the media exposure weâ€™re subjected to each day. Plausibility is frightening. Thatâ€™s where writer CW Cooke collects the strength for this story, but thatâ€™s also sadly where it ends.
The reader is thrust into an unclear scenario in which a wild variety of nameless characters mill around outdoors, presumably waiting to gain entrance to a building. A charismatic man (weâ€™ll just call him Mr. Charisma for the ease of this review) leads them in and walks them through a chamber of horrors that highlights the harsh face of war–not the â€œsafeâ€ version that they have been conditioned to by the evening news.
Mr. Charisma berates these character extras the entire time they mindlessly follow him, so one can only assume that they believe his behavior is all part of the show that theyâ€™ve lined up to experience. Their guideâ€™s odd behavior reaches a crescendo at the end of the tour when the extras are thrust into a simulated war zone complete with live fire. As you can predict, horror ensues.
While this story could have really driven home the shocking tortures of war, it instead leaves the reader wondering if he has missed something important in the details. After reading this issue four times (just to be sure I wasnâ€™t overlooking anything) I was disappointed to discover that there are no details–I had to assume that everything I took from the story was intended as I understood it. The entire scenario is murky: Who are these people? Where are these people? Are they there of their own volition? What is Mr. Charismaâ€™s role in all of this? Why is this comic hitting me over the head with politics? The list goes on…
Overall, I am left feeling terribly unsatisfied with Vincent Price: Tales from the Darkness #4. The horror is there, but the story that should hold that horror together simply crumbles at the touch.