The Nice House on the Lake #3 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 10/10
Ray: This new horror book has been slowly unraveling its mysteries over its first two issues, but it’s this issue where it breaks out and turns into one of the best comics put out by any company. James Tynion’s End of the World-remix of The Big Chill has packed a lot of suspense and horror, but at its core is a group of people dealing with the most stressful situation imaginable. That becomes a lot more clear this issue, as we see some people—an attractive young couple with a guy who’s a natural leader—try to impose some structure on the group and get people to look on the bright side of what’s essentially an indefinite vacation. But not everyone can accept that mindset—least of all Sam, a workaholic who was one of the last people to commit to the trip. Stuck at the house with his significant other Arturo, the events are slowly starting to take a toll on him before they explode in this suspenseful issue.
James Tynion IV is probably the best writer in the industry when it comes to LGBT issues, and there’s more to it than just giving a gay couple the focus this issue. The choice to make his mastermind Walter gay as well adds an interesting wrinkle. Is Walter actually the villain here—or is he someone trying to salvage a world that’s already gone through no fault of his own? Looking back at how their identity bonded Sam and Walter long before the events of this book is interesting, as well as seeing the way Walter was always more than a bit of a puppetmaster. Watching Sam tear himself away from the group and from Arturo in particular leads to an intense sense of dread, as he starts to explore the Silent Hill-like architecture on the outskirts of the house. I don’t know what I was expecting to find at the end of this road, but it definitely wasn’t the mind-bending, horrific reveal we get right before the end. What does it mean? I have no idea, but this is quickly becoming one of the best books on the stands.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.