Regression Volume 1: Way Down Deep

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Danny Luckert
Colorist & Letterer: Marie Enger

Review by Anelise Farris 

Regression Volume 1: Way Down Deep collects the first five issues of Regression—a mesmerizing new horror series by Cullen Bunn, Danny Luckert, and Marie Enger. Regression is about a twenty-something guy named Adrian who suffers from—what he deems—hallucinations.

When we first meet him, he’s at a party—not on drugs—and yet he sees bugs crawling out of his friend’s eyes and the toilet and pretty much anywhere you don’t want to see bugs. His friend Molly is concerned for him, and she hooks him up with a hypnotist named Sid who suggests that Adrian try regression therapy. This type of hypnosis helps one uncover the past and any possible past lives that might be haunting them. Unfortunately for Adrian, something sinister follows Adrian back from his hypnosis and what follows is an occult mystery about helping one man find peace.

Bunn is a master of the horror genre, and Regression is no exception. Bunn doesn’t depend on heavy exposition or horror clichés, and yet it is clear that he is well-versed with the genre. This makes Regression feel both familiar and totally new. It’s also worth noting how remarkably believable Adrian’s story is, and it definitely shows that Bunn knows his material (read his afterword to find out how!).

Similarly, the art and lettering in this comic are spot on. Luckert and Enger marry their talents so well together—giving us eerily bright panels and haunting scenes that linger long after you turn the page. The use of bright, yet sickly pastel shades is brilliant. It’s completely unexpected for a horror comic, and yet it totally works. Being in the dark with monsters is scary enough, but what happens when they follow you out into the light?  Additionally, all the unique panel shapes and arrangements really draw you into Adrian’s descent into this dark world. Oh, and since it bears repeating, there are bugs. A lot, a lot of bugs. Consider yourself warned.

Verdict: Buy it!

For a first volume, a whole lot happens in Regression Volume 1: Way Down Deep, but it still seems like there is a whole lot more ground for this story to cover. This is a rich world that the Regression team is building, and I’m in for the long haul. Issue #5 came out earlier this month, and Regression Volume 1: Way Down Deep will be in your local comic shops November 15. 

Anelise Farris
farranel@isu.edu
I'm a doctor that specializes in folklore and mythology, speculative fiction, and disability studies. Basically, I'm a professional geek. When not researching or teaching, I read; I write; I yoga; I travel; I play with my fur babies; and, I watch way too many (if that's a thing) horror movies.

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