Demon babies, melting heads, and parent’s worst “lurking fear.”
Before we begin, let’s briefly recap our abridged reviews of ELDRITCH! issues #1 and 2…
Issue #1: We’re introduced to Anya and Owen, a brother a sister from opposite sides of the philosophical pond; Anya is a free-spirited, highly opinionated Darwinist and Owen is a sort of Dungeons & Dragons type with ties to H.P. Lovecraft. While playing a prank on his sister Owen exhibits the first signs of some sort of… “disease” that causes black tentacles to ooze from his wounds which is somehow connected to an odd couple called the Newbarns.
Issue #2: Owen’s condition worsens as Anya attempts to expose the “strangeness” continue to fail. Apparently Owen’s friends have formed a cult called the Order of the Tongues that worship Lovecraftian-type deities from another world. Oh yeah, then there’s Skyler, the Newbarns “baby” who is full out demon squid and more than a little unruly. The story ends with Anya locked in the Newbarn’s basement with an assortment of truly unique items.
Issue #3 opens with Anya confronting the apathetic Ms. Newbarn in the basement with an assortment of found objects that effectively result in Ms. Newbarn’s face being completely melted before miraculously healing itself like silly putty. The answers to how and/or why are not fully revealed but we’re given enough clues to know it’s related to a weird, severed Gorgon’s head and copious amounts of sex, drugs and heavy metal.
As the middle act this third issue is a little heavy on the exposition this time out, but the pacing never seems to suffer thanks to a combination of Rausch’s quirky visuals and Alexovich’s multiple red herrings. Is Owen’s infliction an ancient virus? Alien invasion? Government cover-up? All seem plausible scenarios from the perspective of Anya as she continues to delve into the mystery of the Newbarns and their insanity.
ELDRITCH! #3: “The Instruments of Fear” is available now for digital download – only .99 cents!