COMIC REVIEW: And Then Emily Was Gone #3

Comix Tribe delivers another twisted new installment in what continues to be a very impressive horror mini series.

The first two issues of And Then Emily Was Gone (ATEWG) took it’s time in building up its world and the lore in which the story takes place. Now that this has been achieved, the creative team unleash nothing but page after page of horror.

The story picks up as Detective Hellinger and Fiona, in their search for the missing Emily, get another lead from a rather unlikely source and more is revealed about the lurking but ever-present Bonnie Shaw.

For a character that we have only glimpsed in flashback, Bonnie Shaw’s presence haunts the story at every turn. It is down to John Lees’ excellent scripting that invokes a seldom seen character with such power and dread at the mere mention of his name.

Issue Three succeeds in pushing the story forward, especially in the extraordinary dream sequence that dominates the latter half of the book.

If you were disturbed by Hellinger’s visions of monsters in previous issues, his dreams may upset you more.

Following a hideous Fox spirit guide through a twisted forest representing his subconscious, Hellinger is taken for a horrific trip down memory lane.

Lees uses the sequence to explore some of the horrors of Hellinger’s past that he has buried, forcing his protagonist to confront his fears and accept his fate in the events he has found himself in.

This tease of Hellinger’s back-story is wonderful leading to a killer cliff-hanger to end the issue on.

Series artist Ian Laurie clearly enjoyed being let loose on the concept as his work  for the sequence is  beautifully grotesque and surreal.

The images are so striking that I would strongly advise not reading this before going to bed. You may end up seeing shapes lurking in the corner of your bedroom glaring and gibbering at you.

The colour work by Megan Wilson is stunning. The use of bold colours and shadow against Laurie’s distinct and highly detailed artwork comes together wonderfully. I felt when reading this issue that the book had now elevated itself beyond a mere horror comic. This is the kind of work I would expect to see in Vertigo books at the height of their powers in the 80s.

This is the best issue of ATEWG so far, marking a real turning point in the story and its visual impact.

E300 COVER COLOUR

Title: And The Emily Was Gone Issue 3

Publisher: Comix Tribe

Rating: 5/5

Reviewer: Matt Davis  @DecadentGent

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