Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Jack T. Cole
Published by BOOM! Studios
Released 5/16/18 / $19.99
Cullen Bunn has had quite a career! He has written a bunch of really amazing comics over the years. The best part is they are all different!
This is another feather in his cap as it’s really great and the story really grabbed me.
This book focuses on Ashli, a nurse who signs up for to work at the psychiatric hospital named Saint Cascia.
On her very first day, she meets a diverse and wild cast of characters. It seems like they are just the run of the mill psychiatric patients.
Then, the book shifts into the surreal.
Yet, Bunn takes us to an emotional place and one we haven’t seen before. As Ashli goes down a strange Alice in Wonderland kind of trip in the asylum, we meet some of the various characters. They are all disturbing as can be.
The standout character is Xerxes. He wears a terrifying mask and is just a horrifying character. He is Ashli’s guide into the scary place that is the asylum.
As I said, the book gets incredibly surreal. It’s a good thing someone found the artist Jack T. Cole. I don’t know where this guy came from, but man, he’s a find. The depth of every scene he draws is incredible. He gives us imagery I have never seen in a comic book before. Whether it’s a rain consisting of razor blades, or just people sitting, Cole is a master at what he does. The funny thing is I think we are seeing an artist at the beginning of his career. I look forward to seeing him grow.
The story is one where as it progresses, the main character questions her reality. Is anything real? Or is she crazy? Is she, in fact, an inmate? And just what is the Unsound?
Some of these questions remain open. I appreciate Bunn not wanting to explain everything. It can be a bit frustrating but it’s ultimately worth it.
This is a great horror book. It’s also the beginnings of an incredible artistic talent. It definitely stands out. I’ll definitely read this again at some point in that future.