Written: W. Maxwell Prince
Artwork: Martin Morazzo
Colors: Chris O’Halloran
Lettering: Good Old Neon
This is a brand-new series from Image Comics. It takes something we all remember with fondness from our childhoods and turns it into something morbid and dangerous.
We have an ice cream man. Seemingly normal in every way, except his excessive happiness maybe. We also have a young boy named Byron…and his pet spider, Rupert.
Now, Byron takes himself on a little walk to go get ice cream and while he’s walking home we learn all about Rupert, a kind of spider that has been declared the most venomous spider in the world…the Brazilian wandering spider. As the kid gets home, we see that his parents are sitting at the kitchen table…dead.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, two cops are taking a report from an old woman who says a “thingamacreature” that looks like a werewolf killed her cat by slurping its body material right off the bones. They don’t believe her but, they take the report and send her home.
Then, the two detectives are alerted to a missing persons report about a married couple that has not been seen for at least ten days. There’s a female cop named Jialeou (Jolly-O) Hwan, they call her 5V because her first name has all five vowels of the English language in it. Her partner is Briggs and he’s the male cop. They are instructed to go to the couple’s house and check on them, plus they are informed that the couple has a kid. (This would happen to be Byron, the kid with the spider.)
Then, we shift back to Byron. He’s playing by himself in the woods. With dead parents, it’s not like anyone is watching him or policing his behavior. He poking at a dead animal’s limb that has been torn from its body with a stick. All of a sudden, out of the woods comes a man. He looks like Bruce Banner after changing into The Hulk. His clothes are all ripped and he’s a disheveled mess.
After they talk for a minute, the man gives Byron an ice cream by changing the stick in his hand to a double scoop of chocolate on a cone…done by magic. The he tells Byron it’s time for him to go home to his parents and the man runs off into the woods.
The two cops go to the address they are given and upon entering the home, they find the parents dead bodies. As they are discussing the scene, Rupert (our friendly and deadly neighborhood spider) drops down onto Briggs and bites him in the shoulder. He quickly dies from the venom.
As 5V is trying to figure out what is going on, Byron walks in and says that it’s not Rupert’s fault and when 5V tries to get him to give her the spider, he takes it and runs off.
5V chases after him. She finds him in the woods, suspended in the air by the hand of a werewolf. She draws her weapon and prepares to shoot when the werewolf (dressed in torn pants and shirt, by the way) throws Byron at her and they both collapse to the ground.
Just then, the spider gets on the werewolf’s back and bites it. It screams in pain and tosses the spider off of him and escapes into the woods.
Emergency services arrive at Byron’s house where he is checked by medical personnel and his parents are hauled off. It is determined that they died of spider bites. 5V is wanting the spider taken to the lab for further analysis. But, it’s missing.
The ice cream man comes upon the spider as it’s crawling down the sidewalk. He picks it up and with his magic turns it into an ice cream cone. He offers it up to the reader as he smiles, showing razor sharp yellow teeth.
Although this is only the first issue, I liked this comic book. I thought it was well written and the story was good. This moved more like a movie would, in my opinion. I like that it went back and forth between the cops and the kid. It kept things interesting.
It’s obvious to me that the “ice cream man” is an entity that can change form. This is going to prove to be an interesting concept combined with the use of magic like powers, allowing practically anything to happen.
I also like that they take a typical sweet dream of a child and shift it into something dark and sinister.
The artwork in this issue is not bad. The use of color is unique, probably due to the ice cream theme. There are little bursts of bold color here and there if you look for them.
I would definitely recommend this issue to horror fans. I already have the second issue of this series and I am anxious to read it. I’m curious if it will keep on this wavelength or if it will run amok.