Writer: Al Ewing
Artists: Garry Brown, Stephen Green, Djibril Morissette-Pham
Colorist: Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover: Kyle Hotz and Dan Brown
Amid a sea of superhero titles the Marvel horror one shot, Crypt of Shadows, is a distinct read that is fun and gratifying, harkening back to horror anthology comics and TV shows like Tales from the Crypt and Creep Show. Readers not familiar with the vast Marvel superhero universe (or perhaps who just want something different) can pick up and enjoy this singular issue with a small cast of characters unique to this story. Even though there is not much gore, the issue is sufficiently creepy as a psychological thriller.
The story is told in narration through a therapy session between a psychiatrist and patient. As the patient recites the tales that have fueled his cynophobia, (fear of dogs) we bounce back and forth between the relative calm of his therapist office and the spooky scenes that he sees drawn out in his head. The beautiful artwork drives chills as the story unfolds and the coloring is suitably dark without making the story hard to follow. As we’re taken through various accounts we get the sense that the protagonist is captivated with ghost stories, which is appropriate for a horror comic but drives understandable skepticism from his therapist. As his story comes to a climax we see how the dramatic tales lead back to the source in a satisfying twist.