John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction – Twitch
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Richard P. Clark
Lettering by Janice Chiang
Cover Art by Tim Bradstreet
Release date: October 8, 2019
While most know John Carpenter for his 40+ years of excellence directing horror and genre films, since 2012 he’s been prevalent in the comic book industry. With his wife and collaborator Sandy King, Storm King Comics was born. Their flagship comic, Asylum, became a global hit and the brand also releases an annual anthology right in time for Halloween called John Carpenter’s Tales for a HalloweeNight. Their monthly anthology series, John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction, has been going continuously for a few years, giving Storm King’s collection of talented authors and artists a chance to tell vivid sci-fi stories. The latest of these is Twitch, written by Duane Swierczynski with art by Richard P. Clark, and lettering by Janice Chiang.
Now available in a complete trade paperback, John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction – Twitch tells a tale of a force from space that threatens humanity and it’s up to a small group of survivors to save the world. Just outside of Los Angeles, Lt. Ron Pinkerton is investigating a series of bizarre crimes, in which totally normal people appear to snap and commit heinous acts of mass murder. Reports are that these normal folks turned violent murderers seem to start twitching or seizing beforehand and the rampages trigger a sort of blindness.
At the same time astro-physicist Marisa Stringfellow is under lockdown at the local observatory where Dr. Zelazny went insane. After escaping she joins Pinkerton in investigating the strange occurrences. She relates the story of how 40 years earlier the observatory found a signal from space, the WOW signal, that they thought was proof of extraterrestrial life. Now the signal is back and infecting people, turning them into a collective hive mind of zombie-like killers on a path to destroy humankind. Stringfellow’s fiance Josh is infected leaving the unlikely duo with having to try to communicate and get through to those controlled or else face the potential of killing those who they love.
The five issues of Twitch breeze by and the trade will read just as quick. The story reminded me of the Stephen King book Cell, but with elements of Carpenter’s The Thing as the WOW signal begins to take over person after person. Swierczynski’s characters are quick witted and reminiscent of the tough as nails leads in early Carpenter films. Richard P. Clark’s vibrant images and gorgeous color palette are eye-popping, especially his interpretation of those possessed by the WOW signal; bright purples with glowing chest cavities. It’s fittingly nightmarish for a work attached to the name John Carpenter.
The Twitch paperback trade became available last week and you can buy an autographed copy now at Storm King Comics. Also available on the website is the Anniversary edition of John Carpenter’s Tales for a HalloweeNight Vol. 5 as well as all other series in the Tales of Science Fiction anthology line. If you are in the New York area and planning on attending NYCC, you can visit the creators, writers, and artists of Storm King at Booth 2304 at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC.
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