Three people are driving a beautiful ’68 Mustang through the Arizona desert. They’re lost, and pick up a hitchhiker. The people end up in a small, seemingly deserted town and smash up the Mustang when an apparition appears in front of them. After waking up, they find that the town isn’t deserted at all. Strange things are happening in the town, things that will become more evident in the remaining three chapters.
It’s hard to judge this comic on the basis of just this first issue. It’s obvious that Remender and Peck are setting up the suspense for the next three issues, and that this issue is setting us up for the spookiness that will come. The denizens of the town are very strange, and there’s the hint of decay and death around the town, but it’s impossible to even guess where all this spookiness will lead. The story does move quickly and dramatically, and it’s really sad to see that Mustang get wrapped around a pole. Damn, those are nice cars.
Francesco Francavilla’s art is gorgeous. He does a great job drawing the small town. It feels familiar but just a bit off, just slightly off from normalcy. The characters also look great, especially a very spooky little boy who lives in the town. Francavilla also does a nice job of changing camera angles to increase the drama in the comic, a technique that really emphasizes the feeling that strange events are right around the corner.
This issue is a quick read, and made me anxious to read the next three chapters. Unfortunately, as a standalone chapter, it’s incomplete. There’s no explanation yet for where the hitchhiker came from, or what the spooky bugs are, or why there’s a feeling of decay over the town. I’m looking forward to reading the next three issues to get answers to these questions; in the meantime, consider the three bullet rating as meaning the grade is “incomplete.”