Friday, August 16, 2013

Review - The Living Corpse Haunted One-Shot


"You know Edgar, you really are a sick bastard."

Chances are, if you're dealing with foe of the undead nature, you need an ally who boasts the same credentials. A creature who can give you the inside scoop on how the undead think and act. A living corpse perhaps; one who doesn't want to eat your brains but fight alongside you in a way. Those stories would be interesting right? Dynamite Entertainment hopes so in The Living Corpse Haunted One-Shot.

The one-shot features three stories. "Haunted" is written by Ken Haeser, illustrated by Haeser and Buz Hasson and colored by Blair Smith. "Edgar Allan: The King and I" is written by Keith Thomas and illustrated by Smith. "Tears of a Clown" is written by Haeser, illustrated by Haeser and Hasson and colored by Smith.

The first story "Haunted" pits the Living Corpse up against a deranged doctor at a mental hospital. Pennhurst State School earned a reputation for its treatment "methods," and Dr. Hardquannone was at the heart of those daily methods. The second story has a little fun with Edgar Allan Poe and his reputation as something of a dreary and macabre author. Finally, "Tears of a Clown" gives a clown motive and a gun to seek revenge, two things that are very atypical of being a clown.

Two of the stories are written by Haeser and both manage to give the Living Corpse room to play in terms of his abilities. "Haunted" showcases some of the character's more visceral talents, while "Tears of a Clown" show the softer side of the avenging zombie. Haeser infuses the book with both sides of the coin in the two stories, ensuring that readers who pick up the one-shot will get a complete picture of the character. Thomas' story is very Poe in its demeanor and offers a slightly different take on the undead world that the Living Corpse inhabits.

Haeser handles the art duties on the two stories that feature the Living Corpse and they're largely consistent. "Haunted" has more of a superhero comic book feel to it, while "Tears of a Clown" feels grittier. The art styles are appropriate for the two story subjects and pages are full of flourish and the doctor is reminiscent of historic Italian soothsayers. Smith's art in the Poe story is a bit different than the rest of the art, but it's still got a independent horror vibe to it.

For a one-shot, The Living Corpse Haunted One-Shot offers readers everything they need in order to get acquainted with the Living Corpse. The character makes the rounds holding off other undead and that point is made clear in the three stories included. Fans of the series will likely find something to appease them in the book, while new fans will definitely want to check it out to get on board.

The Living Corpse Haunted One-Shot is available August 21.

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