Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review - Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher #1

Edgar Allen Poe was a very troubled yet interesting man. His commitment to the macabre was legendary, lending itself to a variety of creative and dark works that are still referenced today. It only makes sense that a story like Fall of the House of Usher gets adapted into a comic and that's what Dark Horse is doing in Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher #1.

The title is written and illustrated by Richard Corben, with letters by Nate Piekos.

Young Allan is venturing over the river and through the woods to visit his friend Roderick Usher. Roderick has come a little more unscrewed since they last saw one another, living in a house littered with family corpses, a scared sister and a burly assistant who doesn't like when people snoop. A sickness resides in the house of Usher. Its history is cursed, its tenants plagued by abominable love and it’s hallways lined with coffins and the rotted dead.

Corben has a knack for amplifying the morbid and he spares nothing in Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher #1. The tale is equal parts chilling and equal parts intrigue, the sum of which is something that feels both coarse and terrible. Allan quickly realizes he may be in over his head and his friend Roderick might be losing his. There is some instances in the story that feel a little over-narrated, but Corben manages to make sure there's enough of an unknown that the reader isn't having their hand held.

Corben's art is fantastic here, blending disfigured corpses and somewhat disfigured humans. The residence is completely eerie and there are some panels of Allan struggling through the landscape that aren't fully shown; the fact that Corben can do this and the reader still feels the death in the house is the sign of a great artist. Panels are full of imagery that depicts sorrow, sadness and death, fueling the story's despair.

If you've ever read Richard Corben before, you have a good idea of what you're going to get. Fortunately, he doesn't disappoint here, taking a classic by someone who could have easily been his best friend in life in Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher #1 is the start of a great adaptation that will have both Poe and horror fans ready for more.

Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher #1 is available in stores today.






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