By Steve Niles and Damien Worm
As it seems to happen every year in October, there are a slew of horror themed comics that come out and attempt to score some sales. There is nothing wrong with that, but in order for the title to remain strong, the story needs to be more than a one month wonder. Steve Niles is no stranger to the genre, and his hit comic 30 Days of Night was very well received by fans and critics alike. Niles is at it again with The October Faction, and this time he’s brought Damien Worm along with him to help with the scares.
There is something about The October Faction that comes off as cool. Steve Niles introduces us to several new characters that are all a little off, but all very likable. Perhaps the fact that many of them are outcasts is what makes them charming, but Niles dialogue works well for this odd mix. The younger characters are tormented by bullies or other popular kids, but Niles writes them with a sense of confidence that allows them to ooze their charisma off the page. While Niles doesn’t revel too much of the plot in this first issue, he focuses more on who our main characters will be. We are given a little window into who these characters are, and Niles writing is what will bring you back next month.
The art by Damien Worm is uneven for this first issue. He has a style that resembles Ben Templesmith, who collaborated with Niles on previous books, but there isn’t much consistency from page to page. One panel Worm will have drawn a character very well, and in the next panel his face is too thin and distorted. This is a more abstract style of art, but the book would benefit from not having too many off panels. There are some good panels here, Vivian getting a vision of what popular girls will look in 20 years is a good visual. There is also a very good full page of the family house, which Worm makes very eerie. The key here though is consistency and the first issue lacks it in spots.
The October Faction is a very good first issue. While there were some issues with the art, Steve Niles story is absolutely worth the cost of the book. Damien Worm has a unique style that may work for some and turn other off, but this book is worth a read based on story alone.