The Survivors’ Club | Review


Published on Nov 30, 2018


Anyone familiar with the publishing division Vertigo DC Comics knows how important the horror. The label adult the publisher of Superman and Batman, in fact, at the beginning he focused a lot on the series by the dark tones and disturbing the likes of Swamp Thing, or Hellblazer, just to name a couple. In the course of the years, the proposals were made more and more various. However, the horror continues to be present.

And’ the case of, for example, the Survivors Club, the mini-series of nine numbers that Lion now offers a single volume. This is a cartoon not devoid of terrifying situations, written by Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen. The two authors have focused on many of the thematic elements, but one of the most important is the imagery of video games.

It all began in 1987. A group of children living in different contexts remain involved in a bad situation. Without spoilers, specific only that they undergo experiences chilling that leave them traumatized. Growing up, they are forced, despite themselves, to live with their inner demons. But this is not a metaphor. The boys, in fact, they really are obsessed by entities that are demonic, and each of them has peculiar features that make their lives a true hell.

In the present, however, there was something inexplicable. One of the members of this ill-fated youth group, Chenzira, he discovered that the demons have wormed their way into a video game, Akhenaten, with dire consequences. Unable to contact all the other kids, hoping to counteract in any way the entity, and here starts a real nightmare.

In the present case, the nightmare is made of monstrous beings, hallucinations, visions, horrible, and, especially, blood, mutilations, and murders. Beaukes and Halvorsen focus on the aesthetics of trash, and about the influences of the slasher movies but, ultimately, offer a comic book cheesy and superficial, based on known acts of cruelty. The Survivors Club, and then, from the point of view of the plot, it is decidedly conventional and not at the level of the best Vertigo. Occasionally, the texts and the dialogues have a certain amount of irony that makes it acceptable to the most absurd of the plot but, in all frankness, we cannot speak of a work of quality.

Things are better on the side of the drawings. The episodes are designed by the excellent Ryan Kelly (except for one illustrated by the talented Inaki Miranda) that produces tables of great visual impact, enhanced by a layout creative. The construction of the plates is unpredictable and is the most interesting element of the mini-series. The style of Kelly was very detailed and naturalistic, and the penciler manages to portray effectively the monstrosity sprang from the imagination of Beukes and Halvorsen. Sin that his art is at the service of a screenplay is mediocre.

Ultimately, the Survivors Club is intriguing solely for the look. However, if you are looking for a horror story without pretensions, the volume may still be to your liking. But if you expect a work that can stand the comparison with the milestones Vertigo of the past, let loose.

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