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Hailstone 1 Main

"Hailstone #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by ComiXology Originals / Stout Club Entertainment

article-cover

Written by Rafael Scavone
Illustrated by Rafael de Latorre
Colored by Wesllei Manoel
Lettered by Bernardo Brice
2021, 27 Pages, $2.99
Comic released on May 11th, 2021

Review:

Something frightening lurks in the woods outside of Hailstone, Montana. Everyone knows it's there, but the town has been taken over by the military and it won't spare the soldiers to search for the missing people. After another young girl disappears, Sheriff Denton Ross takes matters into his own hands, but it may be the last thing he ever does.

I love the tone of Hailstone. It has an eerie feeling that hits from the first few pages and lingers. On the surface, it looks like a quaint forest setting, but you can't escape this uneasy tone, like these characters are being watched. This plays out beautifully in the opening sequence where we see the latest woman come under attack, although we don't see the actual act. Writer Rafael Scavone keeps the details secret which helps build the mystery.

Artist Rafael de Latorre delivers some great linework that really brings out the essence of each character, particularly Ross. You can see the Sheriff wrestle between doing what's right (finding the lost young woman) and his duty (listening to the military men) in the conflicted views on his face.

Click images to enlarge

Hailstone drives home the feeling of isolation. This is a town deep in the woods and since the comic is set during the Civil War, it's even more isolated. It's not like there's a big city nearby. Although there are enough people living there to form a community, you rarely see more than a couple of them gathered together.

The peaceful snow-covered trees are splashed with red by the end of Hailstone. Colorist Wesllei Manoel signals danger with these splatters. Even though we were on edge for the whole issue, they're still alarming to see. The contrast between the red and white is so very startling.

If we were shocked by the blood hitting the snow, we're terrified by the sounds that accompany it. Letterer Bernardo Brice scrawls these sound effects across the panels in a hideous font. Although we don't see what is making this noise, our minds race with what kind of monster it could be. It's the kind of roar that shakes the teeth in your mouth.

Click image to enlarge

Hailstone is an eerie, mystery-filled comic that will leave you on edge and begging for more. Just when we think we have it figured out, the cliffhanger ending throws a curveball and changes everything. At the bare minimum, it's yet another reason to stay out of the woods.

Hailstone is part of ComiXology Originals, available for free for subscribers to ComiXology Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited, and Amazon Prime.

Grades:

Story: fourstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

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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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