Creative Team: Kelly Thompson, Mattia De Iulis and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Welcome to another New Comic Book Day review from the N.I. Bullpen!
This is starting out to be a really mystery driven story for issue no.1 with foreshadowing of major world changing events. At the same time there is another mystery involving a missing child and one girl’s anguish over his disappearance.
Without any more delay, let’s take a look at The Cull #1 from Image Comics.
***POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD***
A Famous Beach… Or Infamous?
The issue opens up on a beach. A large rock sticks out of the water casting a shadow over the shore. The rocks along the shoreline here are what makes Black Water Beach a tourist attraction, along with an unconfirmed legend of pirates.
The next page shows the beach being invaded by some kind of giant monsters that appear to be consuming the beach goers. All that is left of the people are their shoes.
Next we are shown a group of young independent filmmakers gathering before sunrise to shoot some footage.
We are first introduced to Cleo, who is packing her back full of small orange flags with sad faces drawn on them. As she leaves her house we see another woman at the dinner table asleep amongst a pile of missing child posters.
Kaite is next, discussing where she is going with her father. We meet Will and Wade next, Wade having overslept again making them run late. Lux is the last member of the group we are introduced to, as she is getting her makeup ready for the session.
Heading To Location
On the way to the large rock at Black Water Beach (their filming location) the group are discussing the tides, the lighting and the fact that Lux’s choice in foot wear. As they slip and stumble their way to the spot where they want to film, they discover something unexpected.
They come upon a cave as Kaite and Lux are discussing the fact that Kaite and Cleo are currently experiencing relationship problems. Lux is encouraging Kaite to not give up on Cleo and to try and remind her that she is alive and loved. Alluding to the fact that something major has happened to Cleo recently.
Upon entering the cave, we learn that Cleo had found the cave once before on her own, but did not venture far inside. She did note that she could see something inside the cave but at the time did not know what it was.
Now returning with the entire group, they proceed further into the cave, and begin to see a light deeper inside. This confuses them since the sun should not be rising outside the cave for at least another 2 hours. As they get closer to the source of the light, they find something far more mysterious than a simple cave.
The light is not coming from an artificial source or even the Earth’s sun. They stumble upon what appears to be an alternate dimension, or perhaps they have passed through into some unknown underground realm. The group is terrified and wants answers from Cleo, that she simply doesnt have for them.
As the group begins to turn back and head for the surface, Cleo doesn’t follow. They turn to her and Kaite asks, “You think Jakey’s in there. Don’t You?” to which Cleo simply responds, yes. She has resolved to stay and explore this new realm they have discovered, in order to find a boy named Jakey, who was also the boy in the missing child posters we saw in Cleo’s house earlier.
Is this her little brother or nephew? What happened to make him vanish and how long has he been missing? And what does this have to do with the giant monsters we saw earlier in the issue? The team is making us wait to find out in future issues.
Thompson proves, yet again, that she is a force to be reckoned with in the comic industry. Her writing draws the reader in with each page, and she wastes no time in crafting a mystery you’ll be dying to unravel.
The way we are introduced to each character one at a time as they gather is brilliant. Each is shown dealing with their own personal problems, and we get a glimpse into each person’s personality. Thompson is able to throw us right into the story, keep us hooked and leave us wanting more without revealing everything all at once.
Forcing readers to wait and theorize as to how everything ties together makes for a cliffhanger that doesn’t leave you annoyed, but excited to see what’s going to happen next.
If I could only use one word to describe the artwork of Mattia De Iulis, it would be “stunning.” The world and characters are given so much detail, you can’t help but to stop on each panel studying every object.
The level of realism in play is on another level with this series. You can see each wrinkle in the fabric of a sweater. Rocks and sand have textures so well done that it almost tricks your brain into thinking you can feel them on the page. Expressions and environments are also elevated by the realism on display.
As I said, the only word that comes to mind to describe the artwork in The Cull, is “stunning.”
Overall Score: 10 OUT OF 10 – “Must Pull”
If you want something with horror, mystery and adventure all wrapped up in one gorgeous package then look no further. The Cull #1 from Image Comics is sure to be another hit on comic store shelves this week and many weeks to come.
Make sure to check this new series out on New Comic Book Day this week at your local comic book shop!
As always everyone Be Safe, Be Kind, and Take It Easy!