Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween: Nightdance

Halloween: Nightdance

In 2008, Devil's Due Publishing released this four issue miniseries chronicling the continuing adventures of Michael Myers between H20 and Resurrection.  It takes him outside of his usual stomping grounds of Haddonfield, Illinois and drops him in the nearby Russellville, mentioned by the cemetery groundskeeper in the original film as the scene of a brutal murder.

#1 - A Shape in the Void: We meet our heroine Lisa, who suffers from nightmares caused by some trauma in her past that we're not yet privileged to. Meanwhile, Michael Myers is holding another girl captive. She manages to escape but is quickly run down by Ryan, who is driving with his wife--who is promptly murdered by Michael when she gets out to investigate. He drags her body into the shadows and promptly disappears, only to reappear the next morning, following Lisa. With the story shifting from one girl to another, it's rather difficult to tell them apart at first. Even once you get it figured out, there's not a whole lot here to draw you in. Not a terribly great way to start off the series.

#2 - The Silent Clown: Lisa and her friends Sean and Nikki visit a carnival, until Nikki gets jealous of the attention Sean is giving to Lisa. She goes home early, and receives a surprise visit from Michael Myers. Meanwhile, Ryan arrives at the hospital with the girl he hit with his car, desperate to find his wife. The artwork at the carnival is fantastic, with some great creepy clown scenes. Unfortunately, the story isn't progressing any more satisfactory at this point, and Michael Myers is acting strangely out of character: since when does he stuff fruit into the mouths of his victims and put lipstick on them before slitting their throats?

#3 - A Rainbow In One Color: Through a flashback, we're given an insight into Lisa's crippling fear of the dark, and her first encounter with Michael Myers. Then, while she and Sean recoup from their day at the carnival, Michael pays them a visit and, in true slasher fashion, a showering Lisa goes full frontal (!) for the camera. Ryan and Lisa finally meet up, tying their previously unconnected storylines together. The suspense has been ratcheted up greatly in this issue, and it begins to feel like a Halloween movie for the first time.

#4 - When The Stars Came Crashing Down: Okay, I admit that this series got off to something of a rocky start in my eyes, but by the finale, I was fucking sold! Michael's sadistic side takes center stage here as he lures the few survivors into his trap. The Jack-o-lanterning of a human being was insane, and the closing moments were a sick and tasty treat.

Overall, a pretty damn gratifying story that benefits from being read in one sitting, rather than its original serialized format. If you're a comic book fan and a Halloween fan, do yourself a favor and hunt down the collected edition.


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