“Ragemoor” #1 focuses around evil castle — not much of a high concept, but the reason this comic excels is the style etched into each panel. This is a gothic tale with a pace plodding like the inevitable doom of all things. “Ragemoor” isn’t disturbing because of the events within, but rather how those events are depicted and makes for a true horror comic in every sense of the term.
When Herbert is visited by his uncle and cousin, a set of purely responsive events begin. Herbert knows the horrors the rainy night brings but he cannot stop them. He is inured to these sorts of episodes and such custom makes the unfolding terror all the more bracing because Herbert has so clearly lived through it before. His patience and calm in the face of evil is strange and not comforting at all.
Readers are presented with the history of Ragemoor — a bizarre and well-crafted tale. Herbert imparts millennia of history and immeasurable quantities of blood. The castle is an entity, a thirsting beast of evil, which the terse captions and chilling visuals clearly reinforce. This issue does a marvelous job of building up the location as a main and central character.
Animating a castle and its nefarious deeds is no easy task and Richard Corben makes it look effortless with art holding everything together. The characters are drawn well enough but it’s the awe-inspiring surroundings that truly hold your attention. Atmosphere is key to sell the malevolent atmosphere and is pulled off in style by Corben, who makes you feel like you’ve been transported back in time to a comic just pulled from the childhood trunk of your great-grandparents without feeling dated or clunky, “Ragemoor” is a modern telling of a tale with an ages-old classic style.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a quality horror comic like “Ragemoor” on the shelves in the modern era. If you enjoy black and white movies from many decades ago or equally atmospheric comics, then this issue is for you. “Ragemoor” makes time feel still and eerie while reading it, creating a slow burn and with relentless, nasty action. This is the start of a tale that will have you checking to see if your windows are locked on cold, dark, and rainy nights.