Regression #1

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

A review by Anelise Farris

Regression coverRegression #1 introduces readers to Adrian, a twenty-something guy who is overwhelmed by a series of strange and horrifying nightmares that seem a whole lot closer to waking than sleeping. Adrian’s hallucinations/dreams/visions affect his ability to function in the real world; at a party his friends alternate between appearing whole and human to bug-infested, decaying corpses. Adrian’s friend Molly suggests that he visit her friend Sid, a hypnotist, who offers to help Adrian through regression therapy.

Adrian is hesitant to indulge in “new age-y” practices, but he is able to move past his skepticism as he is desperate for answers. The regression therapy involves helping a person to mentally revisit their past—unearthing memories buried in their subconscious, and even memories from a possible past life. After Adrian’s session, it seems that the past is literally becoming unburied, and his descent into madness and restoration is just beginning.

Right from the start, Regression #1 declares itself to be a horror comic: complete with exposed skin, mutilation, and insects burrowing in places that they shouldn’t be. Likewise, the off-white, sickly yellow speech bubbles and italicized front contribute to the comic’s mood. And, the cartoonish art paired with the neutral, slightly off-kilter coloring really works to elevate the creepiness of the atmosphere. It is as though we as readers are seeing everything through Adrian’s point of view, which raises interesting questions about what is real.

Regression #1 makes all the right moves as the first issue of a brand-new comic: it introduces an interesting premise, establishes the environment, and raises enough questions to interest readers in picking up issue #2. At this point I want to know a whole lot more about Adrian: what is his career? What was his childhood like? Is this going to be a comic about multiple past lives or just one? Additionally, Regression #1 ends with a smart, bloody twist that makes it difficult to forget about this series anytime soon.

The Verdict
Buy it!
This image-driven comic is a promising start to a new horror comic series about literally unearthing the past. With familiar horror conventions but enough originality to keep readers interested, Regression #1 will appeal to fans of all kinds of mystery and occult reads.

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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