By Cullen Bunn, Danny Luckert, and Marie Enger
Ever felt something eating away at you from the inside out? Something from your past? In Cullen Bunn, Danny Luckert, and co.’s new book, Regression, the main character is dealing with just that. We follow him as horrific hallucinations haunt him and worse: something from his mind may have escaped. Regression is a tale of the horror of something terrible in our minds escaping for all to see.
Bunn has created a gruesome story that should hit each reader at their core. Our minds are our perception of reality and when we can’t trust, it we experience the most frightening times of our life. Bunn has done a masterful job of taking us into Adrian’s mind to experience the gruesome things he is seeing and feeling. In contrast, the dialogue is very normal and sets an unsettling contrast between what the reader is reading and what they are seeing. When you combine that with the fact that these events are happening during everyday situations, it further dials up the reader’s anxiety. Do other people see what you do? Are they in on it? Bunn’s script makes the reader feel that no place is safe and there’s nowhere to escape to. There are scenes that involve an evil character and are written very creepy. His words seem to ooze from his mouth and into your mind in short little pieces. The only feeling of security that Adrian and the reader have is that these are only dreams and hallucinations that are not real. They are hidden safe in his mind. The ending is a definite shock and raises the stakes in more ways than one.
Danny Luckert’s artwork is a natural match for this story. It puts the reader in a normal looking life invaded by grotesque creatures and situations. It seems to reveal the evil festering just underneath the skin of society. The panels with creatures breaking through seem to burst through and pour out of the page at the reader. The insects and creatures look as if they will tumble out of the issue and into your lap. Luckert has done an excellent job at drawing realistic expressions. The reader can see the anguish and terror on Adrian’s face, and the deep concern on his friend Molly’s face. Really great expressions like this help the reader connect with the characters’ emotional states. Amidst all these grotesque moments we are given Molly, who is drawn as a beacon of light. She has a clean, pure, and happy look to her and is Adrian’s lifeline. She also gives the reader a break from all the sickly colors and images. There are number of extreme close-ups on characters eye’s which give the reader an intense look at the thoughts going on in the person’s head. In one case, the close-up is on a mouth as evil words are uttered from it giving the reader a first hand view of the experience. Adding to this experience, Luckert sets some of the moments from the perspective of Adrian, so it is the reader that this is happening to.
Marie Enger handles the coloring as well as the lettering in this book and does nice work on both. The style of lettering changes with one character in particular and is perverted from the normal lettering. It fits this character perfectly. Enger’s coloring really adds to the tone. Somehow she has discovered a lot of sickly tones for each color in the book’s palette. It’s a great way to add to the queasiness that one may already be feeling. A watercolor wash gives everything a slightly dirty texture and makes even normal things feel grungy. The spoilage is just under the surface waiting to get out.
Overall, this is an excellent book if you aren’t squeamish. It has the potential to take you to some dark places in your mind so read with caution. It is a good look at the inner struggle to keep something from your past from interfering with your present. Definitely pick up this book to get immersed in a tale of terror invading your world.
Regression #1 will be released May 10th from Image Comics.