of Mystery #1
writers: Matthew Sturges
and Bill Willingham
artists: Luca Rossi
and Ross Campbell
Vertigo first announced this series, it seemed like we would
be getting a complete re-imagining of everything this title
meant in its heyday. Gone would be Cain and Abel hosting
and fighting, though the press release promised it would
still find a way to be an anthology of horror stories.
some reason, that was troublesome to me. As a kid in the
'70s, House of Mystery wasn't a book my parents would
let me buy, but I eagerly read it whenever I found a friend
or cousin with a copy. Then Neil Gaiman's establishment
of the Dreaming in Vertigo gave the characters and the concept
new life without doing anything more than pulling back an
extra curtain. In short the House of Mystery proper had
done its work and gotten under my skin.
this new series shares more than the name. In fact, it begins
with a mystery. Who stole Cain's house and just where exactly
have they relocated it? The book leaves a frustrated horror
host to focus on the house's new denizens, beginning with
a young female architect escaping a fire, pursued by faceless
creeps. In her hands she holds the blueprints to the House
of Mystery, which dreams have compelled her to draw. Obviously,
she should have let them burn, but then we would have no
now for the House of Mystery, a story is the most important
thing. Several people have found themselves trapped within
its walls, and rather than give in to despair, have turned
it into an otherworldly truck stop of sorts. They can never
leave, but for some reason, many of their visitors can,
yet only after they have paid for their meal and rest. The
coin of the realm, naturally enough, is tales.
the book will have an over-arching plot, written by Matthew
Sturges, coming out under the shadow of mentor Bill Willingham.
Together they write Jack of Fables, and Willingham
hasn't wandered far. While Sturges plots, Willingham will
provide the little tales that pay for some tucker, and thanks
to a more adult readership, the first one turns out to be
the House has me unexpectedly hooked, in what turns out
to be my favorite read this week. Well-plotted, well-paced,
and leaving me with more than one image that will haunt
me a bit this week, there's no doubt that the book will
stay as strong as it started. Willingham writes my absolute
favorite book, Fables, and this could end up running
a close third after the Fables spin-off, Jack
of…. Imagine that. Actually, Willingham probably could.
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let us know what you think!