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"A Dark Interlude #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Vault Comics


Written by Ryan O'Sullivan
Illustrated by Andrea Mutti
Colored by Vladimir Popov
Lettered by AndWorld Design
2020, 35 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 18th, 2020


After introducing one of the most despicable villains in comic book history with Henry Henry, where does Fearscape go next? The not-quite-a-sequel begins with Henry in prison and the others affected by his heinous and unforgivable actions trying to pick up the pieces in their lives. Of course, all of this is needless babble to our unreliable and arrogant narrator as he attempts to save face even when other forces rise against him.

A Dark Interlude sets out with a fascinating and meta look at the story. Henry speaks directly to the reader, often trying to justify his own actions or explain away some bad words someone says about him. He's such a horrible person through and through. I seriously hate him. This is part of what makes this book such a gripping read, as I have to see him get his comeuppance, even though he's already paid a price and is currently behind bars. He clearly hasn't learned anything.

Writer Ryan O'Sullivan takes us back to the Fearscape, where humanity's greatest fears are born and slain by a noble warrior every generation. It is reeling from Henry's actions in the original series, as no one has ever broken all the norms like Henry did. There's a metaphor for the current administration in the United States here too.

Click images to enlarge

The design for the Fearscape is intriguing. Artist Andrea Mutti lays out a gorgeous setting that's hiding pure terror just under the surface. It's like imagining a land of horrors lurking just beneath the surface of Disney World. It looks fine up top, but there's something sinister going on a few layers down. In the case of this story, it's fear itself, personified into an entity that needs to be vanquished.

Colorist Vladimir Popov makes this world shine in eerie purples, driving home the idea that this is a fantastical land where the impossible is possible. Similarly, the Muse, now taking the form of a handsome man, glows with a yellow energy that draws the eye. The Hero's glowing cube of a head is another element that further solidifies these unnatural and magical elements. They contrast well with the drab colors of our reality.

Click images to enlarge

Rounding out the creative team is letterer AndWorld Design with some interesting choices for word balloon placement. When Henry Henry actually appears in the book, he doesn't speak, nor do we see his face. Instead, the word balloons of the person speaking to him are placed over his head. Under other circumstances, this would be a major flaw, but it leans into the story. Henry doesn't want to be seen, especially when he's clad in an orange jumpsuit. Since he's controlling this narrative, he can avert your eyes away.

Fearscape is one of the most unique and riveting comics to hit stands in recent memory, so it's no surprise that its follow up, A Dark Interlude, is continuing that trend. This book stretches the boundaries of storytelling in the comic book medium. More importantly, it conveys real emotion and outright hatred because Henry Henry is a vile human being.


Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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