Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pigeons from Hell #2-4

Dark Horse Comics

When I first covered Pigeons from Hell #1 in this blog, we left off with a pile of dead pigeons and a group of friends who stumble upon the Blassenville Mansion's strange power. Little is revealed in that first issue, but the following comics tell the gruesome tale of a long-standing curse that resides within the house, and a violent history of slavery and murder.

After several of our characters are killed and become zombies, a local lawman on horseback meets the kids to help get to the bottom of it. We soon discover the grounds are haunted by souls of deceased slaves, shape-shifting shadow creatures that are unable to actually harm the humans but are condemned to the land forever. The sheriff brings the 2 surviving Blassenville sisters (Claire and Janet) to an old man named Alcebee who resides in the same swamp - he is over 100 years old and has the knowledge they seek. He grew up as a slave to the Blassenville family and is now trapped in his home, within a circle of safety that the spirits cannot penetrate.

Alcebee explains that the spirit is actually the soul of a Blassenville daughter, who drowned an illegitimate slave child and haunts the house ever since. Her heart, removed from her body by a voodoo curse, is the source of the house's strength. In order to put an end to the chaos the sisters must first stun the spirit by revealing it's reflection in Alcebee's mirror, and then destroying the heart. The souls of the slaves will then be free.

This modern adaptation of the Robert E. Howard classic is perfectly executed by Joe Lansdale (writer) and Nathan Fox (illustration). The two are a dynamic duo - Lansdale often leaves out text alltogether, allowing Fox's art to tell the story. Fox's choppy but sharp drawings have an edginess that makes the gore and violence come to life before our eyes, leaving alot up to the imagination and in turn creating one of the most exciting horror comics of the new milennium. I can only hope that this short 4-comic mini-series be made into a feature film. Until then, make sure you grab all 4 chilling issues and enter the Blassenville Mansion if you dare. Thanks again, Dark Horse!

Purchase Pigeons from Hell at the Dark Horse website:

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