Posts Tagged ‘Steve Niles’

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The October Faction is the latest horror comic from writer Steve Niles, artist Damien Worm, and publisher IDW.  It follows the adventures of the Allan family, the patriarch of which, Frederick, used to be a professional monster hunter.  Frederick’s wife, Deloris, is billed as a “thrill-killer,” and his two children, Vivian and Geoff, are a witch and warlock, respectively.  Still following along?  Ok, good.

In this particular case, rather than go back and review each individual issue, I decided it would probably be more productive to review issues 1-6 (which covers the first full story arc and will eventually be collected into a single volume trade paperback anyway) as a whole.  Doing it this way has its pros and cons, but like I said, the deciding factor was simply expediency.  So, with that in mind, let’s get to it.

Steve Niles is one of the better horror comic writers out there at the moment, and this book is actually his first original ongoing series, so initially I was pretty excited about it.  But, if we’re being completely honest, this one just didn’t really do it for me.  The story concept is very interesting, but over the course of the first six issues it doesn’t really seem to go anywhere.  Some secrets are revealed, new characters are introduced, but it doesn’t seem to be building up to anything incredibly significant.  I’m willing to give Niles a little bit of a pass because I can see where it would be somewhat difficult to transition from writing stories with a clear beginning, middle, and end (which he has been doing for years in mini-series), over to this format, which has to have constantly flowing plot lines running through it.  I stayed with it for the basic premise, and because I wanted to see just where it would go, but the more of it I read, the less interested I became.  I think another aspect that ultimately killed it for me was the main characters.  None of them really come off as likable individuals, which can make it very hard to empathize with them when something happens.

The art in this series from Damien Worm is something that I did enjoy for the most part.  It’s slightly cartoonish and pretty over the top, but it’s also bizarre in a way that works really well with the strange subject matter of the story itself.  Some of the more interesting panels here actually involve a side character who is unknowingly haunted by his former football teammates after they’re killed in a car crash.  The emotion displayed in the character’s face after a secret about the crash is revealed is nothing short of chilling. One complaint I do have about the art is that the action scenes seem to be a little awkward, and for the most part there’s not really any feeling of movement when characters are engaged in a fight.  They’re just kind of… there, looking like a statue of someone punching.

All in all, this series isn’t really bad, it’s just… not good.  I’ll probably stick with it through the next story arc just to see where it goes, but it would have to be pretty spectacular for me to keep up with it after that.

The Verdict for The October Faction #1 – #6:
Meh…

Upcoming reviews:
East of West, Volume 3: There Is No Us TPB
Secret Wars #2
Ultimate End #1
Wytches #1-#6
Mad Max: Fury Road

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

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