I didn't realize it until I closed the book, but I was holding my breath for the last five pages of this issue.
If you've been reading this series, written by Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you haven't been reading this book, then get thee to a comics shop! This book is a new testament to creepy, and this issue is every bit as approachable as any of the fifty-two first issues were from that other publisher. The killer secret here? This is the third issue!
Like I said, if you've been following it, you know what to expect. This is a historical-fiction horror tale that sets two young travelers up as the unwary victims. In this issue, the bad guy -- and we know he's bad from his darkly dramatic entrance -- welcomes twelve-year-old Jack Garron and his pal, Sam, into his house for a nice dinner. The three share a meal, have some drinks, and enjoy each other's laughter. What Sam and jack don't realize is that when "Alan Fisher" (as he's calling himself) invites people over for dinner, he invites them to be dinner.
So there you have it: bad guy inviting unsuspecting would-be victims to his lair. You know what Snyder is capable of as a writer, but let's just say with his co-writer, Tuft, Snyder is a little less predictable.
That unpredictability is eerily captured in the artwork of Attila Futaki. Futaki does a great job of staging panels in the most goose-bump-inducing way possible and then leaving off just enough detail so shadows sneak in and subdue any light and all hope. The "normal" settings within this book are filled with lush, detailed art on par with Phil Winslade, or even a lite version of one of the Kubert boys. But when the story turns dark -- when the music would be reaching towards a crescendo in the movie of this book -- Futaki separates the detailed and distinct from the mysterious and dangerous.
"Severed" is a book that is overlooked. Scott Snyder's name is on the cover, so readers can have an estimation of what to expect, but they need to find this book first. If you can't find it, look behind you. It's just sneaky enough that it may be right there. If that doesn't work, try asking your retailer or check out an online source. With Halloween approaching you owe yourself a nice, creepy scare. This book delivers on all points.