Comic Review: The Raven and The Red Death

The Raven and the Red Death
Written by Richard Corben
Illustrated by Richard Corben
Lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover by Richard Corben
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: October 30, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Readers like Edgar Allan Poe’s work for the way it makes them feel; for how it sucks them into his worlds and sneakily crawls under their skin. Poe’s tales and poetry — including both The Raven and The Mask of the Red Death — settle slowly and move along naturally, allowing mystery, wonder and thrill to develop in one’s mind before the real horror appears.

Dark Horse’s site describes Richard Corben‘s adaptation for Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven and The Red Death as “terrifying.” The only issue is, they aren’t scary. Corben utilizes his recurring character of “Mag the Hag” as a traveler who ends up looping through or walking in on the stories. Before I researched who Mag was, my only introduction to her was on the cover page (very nicely drawn by Corben) and on page one of the comic, where she interrupts the narrator’s musings in The Raven with the cheeky line: “The weather has put young Arnold in a melancholy mood, leading him to grimly narrate his own evening in verse.” Now, in casual conversation, this might be a humorous detail to note about The Raven, but in terms of the story, it disrupts any possibility of the reader getting involved or spooked at all.

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