Monday, October 24, 2005

Ten Books To Read For Halloween: #7

There are some cool superhero brushes with the supernatural that can be really fun to read up on at this time too.

- One of my favorite moments is when Kitty Pryde wards off Dracula with a star of David. There's a whole thing with Storm and Dracula, where he wants her to be his queen in the old Marvel Essentials of X-Men. Then, in the short-lived Mutant X series, Kitty hunts that reality's Storm (known as Bloodstorm) to give her friend peace from her vampirism, since that reality's superheros are all sort of twisted into monstrous versions of themselves.

- Anytime Belasco shows up in X-Men is kinda scary, what with his castle of bones in limbo. There was a big conflict that ran through Excaliber, that went over into X-Men Unlimited that involved Margali Szardos and Amanda Sefton, that I love, but I think his best story is from the Magic limited series with Illyana and Storm (from the late seventies/early eighties?) where Belasco tries to charge his bloodstone to bring the Dark Ones out from their prison, whereupon Illyana reemerged into the X-Men titles as an adult afterwards.

- "The Demon" from Uncanny X-Men, where Kitty is alone in the X-mansion on Christmas, trying to outrun/outsmart a N'garai demon that seems unstoppable.

- Probably the most unsettling story in the entire Marvel Universe occurs at the hands of Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz in Elektra: Assassin. We get to see a really f-ed up version of Elektra, where she's assassinating people because she thinks they are part of this big demon and she smells its foul milk. It's full of really freaky images, and is one of my favorite comics of all time.

But on to the countdown...

7. The Walking Dead written by Robert Kirkman, art by Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.
The Walking Dead is a series more interested in picking up where most zombie movies leave off - the world has been infected, and the remaining humans work to establish a life for themselves in its ashes. It's very human, concentrating on a group of people as they try to find a home and normalcy, but slowly change as the series progresses into something a little darker. Of course, the human survival story occurs between great scenes of zombies attacking the humans and taking great big chunks out of their flesh. A zombie story like this really works as horror because things are always tense. Whether the group is just sitting around, having a conversation at a campfire, zombies can suddenly appear and wreak havoc. If they find a nice mansion to make a home in, a zombie could be coming around any corner. The tension is always present. The reader isn't allowed to let their guard down. Something like this can really transport a person into its hopeless atmosphere.

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