Review: Stillwater #1
Welcome to Stillwater, a small town with a secret. What that is? You’ll have to read the first issue to find out. Stillwater #1 kicks off an interesting horror series that has some familiar aspects but is a great start.
Written by Chip Zdarsky, Stillwater #1 is a must for those who enjoy the horror and mystery genres. The debut issue delivers two interesting characters, neither of whom are particularly likable. But, what works well is the build-up to those final pages full of twists and turns.
The issue revolves around Daniel. Daniel has a bit of a temper and after being fired from his job for shoving a fellow employee, he’s delivered a bit of mystery news. A relative has left him something and he needs to travel to the town of Stillwater to find out exactly what. With him is his semi-bro friend Tony. They head off on a road trip to find out what’s going on and get their reward.
The issue is a hell of a start and by the end it’s fairly clear what’s going on with Stillwater and we’re left with the how, why, and a who. Zdarsky does an amazing job of the build-up to the end. There’s a torture/horror aspect to the series where tension just builds and builds. There’s a lot of stories that Stillwater owes a nod to and it does them all a service with quality.
Zdarsky is joined by Ramón K. Perez on art, Mike Spicer on color, and lettering by Rus Wooton. Matching Zdarsky’s story and pacing, the art helps ratchet up the tension. There’s a calm before the storm. Much like the horror films the comic mimics, the art builds up the tension until it’s clear things are going south. The team gives us a nice shift as the comic progresses as we move from Daniel and Tony’s world to the small-town life of Stillwater. It’s a perfect combination of story and art coming together for pacing and tension.
Stillwater #1 is a fantastic comic that’s a must for fans of the horror genre. It’s a solid debut issue that while has a lot of familiar elements, puts them together in such a way that they suck you in. Where this series goes should be fascinating and what happens next is unknown. But, it’s that mystery that we want to explore more of.
Story: Chip Zdarsky Art: Ramón K. Perez
Color: Mike Spicer Letterer: Rus Wooton
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review