Tales From the Darkside #3 Review
Writer: Joe Hill
Adaptation: Michael Benedetto
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors: Ryan Hill
Letterer: Robbie Robbins
Reviewed by David Hildebrand
The new Tales From the Darkside series has been hit and miss with me so far. I liked the first issue/story, it was entertaining. This new “Black Box” story is a bit lacking. Let me give you a quick recap of the last issue in case you didn’t read my review (what’s wrong with you???) or you are just now finding this book and are curious if it is worth both your time and money. Brian Newman has suffered seizures most of his life. Along with these seizures, strange events surround each one involving a supernatural being that happens to be Brian’s evil twin, known as Big Winner. So at the end of issue one, an organization known as Briterside has told Newman that they can cure him by surgically removing the anomaly of his brain. Got it? Good! Let’s see if this issue picks up the pace, because the last issue was a sold chapter one story, that didn’t lead to much.
Bad news, it doesn’t pick up much pace. And when I was wondering last issue on what was missing, I figured it out in this issue. There is no character development. We don’t learn much more about the organization, we still don’t learn why Newman is so fascinated with solving Rubik’s cubes. We begin the issue with a quick glimpse of Big Winner telling Newman in his subconscious (I’m guessing?) that he cannot be controlled and now he has to set things right. Next we see the docs and other interested parties after the surgery. “I’m told the operation was completed in record time and the chip was implanted successfully.” Now….don’t get me wrong, it sounds impressive that the surgery was completed in record time. However, I’m sure everyone is more interested in the results of said surgery instead of the time it took to install the chip into our protagonist, Newman. This is another issue I have with the story so far. There are things that just feel as filler and doesn’t really lend to any progression of the story and once again, slows the pace, and also once again, lack of character development.
The action does pick up in this issue, but for a Tales From the Darkside title, I expect horror and not action. Big Winner is now on the loose, the surgery as enabled him to control more of the outside world. He stirs up chaos and the body count starts to rise but once again….I know nothing of these characters, I don’t really care about their fate. And as if Big Winner being on the hunt isn’t enough, there is now a cube surrounding Newman in the operating room. Another damn cube that I know nothing about!!! Security with reckless abandon decide to touch it and of course, they are killed by it. Another piece that has left me scratching my head. Why do you continue to touch this cube if you just saw what happened to your buddy? How do you not expect the same result to happen to you? *Le Sigh*
I know Hill is an excellent writer. I like most of his material, but I don’t know what is going on with this story and as I continued to read it, I saw more and more why this wasn’t picked up by any television networks to be created. The substance just isn’t there. Rodriguez’s art is what kept me going again with this issue. I like the look of Big Winner, and other horror aspects he creates. Hill’s colors are fine, but why the darkest scene in a horror book is a late night phone call is beyond me.
Read it/Skip it There is no suspense or build up to what is going on. I’m not feeling any type of way towards the characters. I also said in the my last review that was part one out of two. Well, I apologize, my information was incorrect because we are moving on to a third issue of this story. I hope that things pick up and get explained. I really would like to see this end in a good way. This is a decent team doing the book, I just think this particular story is a miss. If you are already invested in the story as I am, then you are probably like me and want to see how it ends. If you haven’t read it yet and are on the fence, I say skip it.