DC House of Horror #1

Publisher: DC
Various Writers: Mary Sangiovanni, Nick Cutter, Brian L. Keene, Edward Lee, Bryan Smith, Weston Ochse, Ronald Malfi, Wrath James White
Various Artists: Dale Eaglesham, Scott Kolins, Howard Porter, Bilquis Evely, Rags Morales
Cover Artist: Michael Wm. Kaluta
Letterer:  Jim Campbell

Review by Anelise Farris   

DC House of Horror #1 is a one-shot horror anthology published just in time for Halloween. If you are thinking that this dark comic is only about the villains of the DC universe, I am happy to inform you that you are wrong. DC House of Horror #1 delivers on the horror because it’s primarily about our beloved heroes. Superheroes, with their incredible amount of power, are fantastic allies when they behave. However, if someone with special abilities chooses to harm us rather than help us, things can get pretty terrifying, really quickly.

DC House of Horror #1 begins in Smallville, Kansas when a mysterious spacecraft crash-lands at the Kent’s farmhouse. What follows is a fight-or-flight situation as Martha is hunted by an alien bearing an all-too-familiar symbol on his chest. In another story, we witness a Ouija-board summoning gone wrong. I don’t think these things every go right, but if you summon a murderous Amazonian warrior named Wonder Woman, then things are definitely going to take a turn for the worse. If these two stories aren’t enough to get you interested in picking this up, what about a flesh-eating Flash or this horrific scenario: you have Dissociative Identity Disorder, and one of your personalities is Harley Quinn.

Each of these imaginative, well-written stories is paired with gorgeous art. Everything feels slightly shadowed and surreal but with just enough light relief to make it digestible in one sitting. The moments of brightness—from the choice of pink speech balloons in one story to the use of a purple-blue wash in the flashback scenes in another—fill DC House of Horror #1 with a cool retro vibe. Similarly, although the horror motifs—like a home-invasion story–are familiar, they are filled with a fresh energy thanks to our DC Universe-gone-bad—real bad.

Verdict:
DC House of Horror #1
is and 80-page fear-fest that is is well-worth the $9.99 cover price. Power can definitely be dangerous, and DC House of Horror #1 will leave you grateful that this upside-down world is only permitted on the spookiest night of the year.

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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