I’ve never been the biggest fan of horror. Slasher horror of the 80s wasn’t for me and the over the top gore porn decades later was absolutely not my cup of tea. But, I’ve found over the years I do enjoy horror that’s more suspenseful with a psychological twist. James Tynion IV has been delivering that with The Nice House on the Lake over at DC Comics which blends that suspense with sci-fi mystery. Now, The Closet #1 kicks off a new horror series from Tynion but this time at Image Comics.
The Closet #1 is an interesting start as it’s all about the tension. We meet a young family, a husband who feels abused, a frustrated wife, and their child who’s afraid of the monster in the closet. They’re packing up their belongings to move to a new city for a fresh start.
There’s a lot to relate here, especially as a parent. You can feel the exhaustion from everyone and the tension between parents. You also have to wonder what Tynion is going for here as well.
It’s easy to look at the monster as a metaphor for this family’s situation. Parents who don’t get along. A young child witnessing the arguing. It’s not hard to see the layers within the story. But, we honestly don’t know a whole lot.
The Closet #1 is an intriguing start because it tells us the bare minimum. The father is a fuck-up and is abused in some ways. But, instead of trying to fix things he drowns his sorrows in a beer and longs for youthful days. The mother is rightfully frustrated and trying to shield their child from the friction between the parents. The child wants to be protected. Tynion might be delivering a metaphor about today’s familial tension so many are experiencing and is ready to explode in most likely negative ways.
The art by Gavin Fullerton is pretty solid delivering a rough dirty look at this life. The art has a style that feels a bit more like the noir work between Brubaker and Phillips giving the comic a mystery and slightly sad look to it all. With Chris O’Halloran on color and Tom Napolitano on lettering, the visuals for the comic is very focused on the small details. A look of a face. They body language of a character. The items in the house. It all adds up to telling a deeper story about this family and its members. The shrug of a shoulders and furrow of an eyebrow says far more than any of the dialogue.
The Closet #1 is an intriguing start. It very much sets up who these characters are and the conflict they face with each other but beyond that… not much. There’s some teases as what’s to come but not much more. It’s focus is on delivering characters we can relate with an conflict so many have experienced with each other. The manufactured scares can wait, the melting of an family delivers enough of that in this first issue.
Story: James Tynion IV Art: Gavin Fullerton
Color: Chris O’Halloran Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review