Sunday, 12 November 2017

Regression, Volume 1: Way Down Deep Review (Cullen Bunn, Danny Luckert)


Haunted by waking nightmares and at his wits’ end, Asian Tom Hiddleston-lookalike Adrian goes to see a past life regression hypnotist in an effort to find peace of mind. Except the session only opens the door for something wicked to enter our world… !

Though the premise reminded me of the underrated late ‘90s Kevin Bacon movie A Stir of Echoes, Cullen Bunn and Danny Luckert’s Regression is different enough to be its own thing – and it’s not bad. Though, as far as Bunn’s horror comics go, Regression ranks somewhere in the middle (so far anyway – this is a first volume): not as good as Death Follows but better than Harrow County.

And I think it’s the fact that Regression is an ongoing, like Harrow County, that’s the biggest problem: Bunn is in no hurry to tell his tale. He’s got as much space as he needs and he’s going to use all of it! There’s a lot of intriguing elements here – the monster/s, the flashbacks to Elizabethan times, the ethereal insect realm, the creepy cult hanging in the background throughout – and Bunn holds the interest with the odd murder sprinkled here and there, but it still felt too slow with not enough development for my liking.

Regression features a lot of quite shocking and unsettling body horror that artist Danny Luckert fully realises with some impressively gory visuals – this is a very graphic and visceral comic that’s definitely not for the kiddles! I especially enjoyed the supernatural imagery which was very striking. Marie Enger’s vivid and eye-catching colours were a fine match for the dramatic visuals.

Ultimately though there were too many questions and too few answers which always makes for an unsatisfying read. I know it’s a first volume but there should still be some give and take to make it a more complete reading experience. I am interested to see what happens next though, especially with that cliffhanger, so I’ll be back for Volume 2. Hopefully with the table-setting out of the way that book will be more substantial. 

As it is, Regression, Volume 1: Way Down Deep is a fine, atmospheric and creepy horror that doesn’t so much as deliver an engrossing story as strongly hint that one’s on the way.

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