Writer: Ben Meares
Artwork: Ren Ferrer (pgs. 1-5) Renzo Rodriguez (pgs. 6-22)
Colors: Marcelo Costa (pgs. 1-16 & 22) Marco Lesko (pgs. 17-21)
Letters: Fabio Amelia
As Zenescope continues with their take on urban legends, this issue brings us communication from beyond the grave. This story is a twist on the urban legend about a phone call from the afterlife.
So, the earliest version of the story that I can seem to find without digging in like an investigative journalist is this:
One of the Ball Brothers, of the canning jar family, had a great fear of being entombed alive. Anyway, he had a telephone installed in his so he could call out if this happened to him.
As the story goes, he dies…this story is to have happened in the late 1930’s. A few days later, some of his wife’s family got worried because they could only get a busy signal on her phone. Upon entering her home, they found her dead, a look of fright frozen on her face, clutching the phone. When they went to entomb her after the funeral a couple of days later, you can guess what they found…yep, the phone was off the hook INSIDE the crypt.
There are different variations but, that’s the basic story.
So, for our current issue…
Meet Harry Prest. Husband, expecting father, businessman, philanderer. Harry is a charismatic smooth talker with a huge ego and a lot of charm. His selfishness has lead him to hurt a number of women, including his wife who is in the latter half of her pregnancy. His current “flavor of the week” is a gal named Jane. They had a brief hookup and now Jane is getting attached and clingy and Harry can barely remember her name.
Flashback to the past…there’s Melissa. A brokenhearted girl from his college days, a girl he thought he left in the past. After taking her virginity early on in college, he gives her the heave-ho and ignores her. Melissa becomes very depressed and feels incredibly used and taken advantage of once she finds out how much of a dog Harry really is when she catches him with another girl. Riddled with the feeling of disgust and shame and heartache, Melissa tells Harry that he’s ruined her and because she has nothing to live for she is going to end her life. Harry does not take her seriously. In fact, he tells her to stop talking about it and do it. So, she does. On graduation day, Harry and his best buddy Brandon (who has been used as an alibi and an excuse to sneak around by Harry) find Melissa bloody and dead on Harry’s bed in his dorm room. Knowing they MUST call the police, Harry realizes all of his texts telling Melissa to kill herself are still on her phone. He convinces Brandon to give him the phone and never speak of it again.
Flash forward to the present…
Harry is waking up from a one night stand with Jane. He’s lied to his wife and said he had to cover for Brandon at work and he was sleeping at the office. Actually, he was sleeping with Jane at a hotel. While he’s getting dressed, Jane asks when they can get together again. His response includes fumbling around his brain for her name and then saying it was nice to meet her…and walks out of the hotel room, reminding her to be out of the room by check out. (Quite the Casanova, yeah?)
Harry goes to work and is pranked yet again by his buddy, Brandon. This time Brandon photoshopped Harry’s face onto Marilyn Monroe’s famous picture where he skirt is being blown up and she’s holding the front of it down. Not amused, Harry tells Brandon that’s enough.
Later that night, Harry starts getting texts from Jane. Nude photos of her, even one of them in bed together. Initially, Harry tells her to lose his number. Then, when she persists by sending the photo of the two of them in bed, unfortunately Harry’s wife, Trish, sees it and they have “the argument”. Harry tries to blame it on Brandon as another one of his pranks but, Trish isn’t buying it and promptly tells him to leave, kicking him out of their marital home.
As Harry tries to piece together this most recent series of foul ups he continues to get texts…but not from Jane. The texts have been coming in from a number he knows but, it’s not programmed into his cell phone. Then, he’s sent a picture. It’s very similar to the one Jane sent of the two of them earlier except the woman in the photo is Melissa…dead. Harry is also dead in the photo and they are both covered in blood. The caption on the photo reads “All you ever did was lie to me Harry. But I kept my word.”
At that second, his phone rings. He answers nervously only to hear Melissa reminding him of how he told her to kill herself. Then, out of nowhere she pops up behind him and slices his throat.
He is found the next day in his office at the start of the business day. He is bound to his office chair, naked and bloody, a look of terror on his pale and lifeless face.
Once again, Zenescope does not disappoint. As always, the artwork is incredible and the story is well written. The cool thing about this one was, even though I knew what was going to happen I was still completely engrossed in each page and anxiously awaiting the outcome.
The story is told as a back and forth, taking place in the present and in the past. We see the flashbacks to his college days with Brandon and Melissa and then we jump forward to the present day where he ultimately hasn’t changed one bit.
I can always count on Zenescope to bring me a good horror tale. Go grab your copy to see the full scope of the story and its artwork.