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Mountainhead 5 Main

"Mountainhead #5" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by IDW Publishing


Written by John Lees
Illustrated by Ryan Lee
Colored by Doug Garbark
Lettered by Shawn Lee
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 9th, 2020


When you see a huge ominous mountain towering over the small town of Braeriach, you know we're going to end up on top of that thing before this is all said and done. That's exactly where we find Abraham and what's left of his family (adopted and biological) as they look to escape the monsters laying waste to the town below. While there are terrors behind them, they're not ready for what lies at the top of Mount Rector.

Oh man, does Mountainhead get crazy in its final chapter. It's tough to describe the utterly bizarre and disturbing creatures that artist Ryan Lee has put to page in this comic. If you squint, you can see how they might have once resembled human beings, but now they're huge in size and seem to be these pulsing bags of flesh and bone that just kind of shuffle through the snow. Excuse me for a second because I just threw up in my mouth a little after writing that sentence.

Click images to enlarge

As unsettling as these creatures are, the real standout in Mountainhead #5 is Lee's tremendous layouts. He is an expert storyteller, guiding your eye to key areas while keeping every page unique and dynamic. No two pages look alike. An early favorite comes when one of the monsters transforms from his human body into something otherworldly. It's represented with a series of interconnected circles, each showing a different hideous tearing of flesh as this massive beast rises up.

There's also a great sequence with four images shown in a diamond formation. They connect like a puzzle with these small triangles pointing in a clockwise direction. Under other circumstances, it might have been difficult to figure out which panel to read first, but because of how Lee lays this out, it's easy to pick up and it's super interesting.

Writer John Lees fills Mountainhead #5 with a ton of tense action as well as some great character moments. Abraham's biological mother has seen some terrifying stuff in the past 24 hours and her mind is nearly broken, however it's still very clear that she loves her children. There is a horrifying sequence where both kids are about to fall off the mountain and she is holding on to them for dear life. Ryan Lee's imagery keeps you guessing as to what's going to happen until you turn the page to find out.

Click images to enlarge

That's just one of the surprises in this issue. There are quite a few more, including one startling moment where I literally yelled “Holy shit!” much to the dismay of my wife sleeping beside me. This unpredictability continues throughout the very end. While we don't know where this monstrous being came from, we don't need to know either.

We do come face-to-face with this entity. It feels like an ancient god that's awoken from its slumber to feast on the sanity of those in Braeriach. Letterer Shawn Lee gives it a booming voice. Its words cannot be contained in balloons. Instead, they float through the air, as if they pierce into your very mind.

Doug Garbark's colors are the perfect complement to Ryan Lee's artwork. They create a gritty feel to the imagery and highlight the unnatural nature of these hideous monsters, all against the backdrop of a snowy mountainside. If it wasn't for all these creatures tearing people apart, it would be a beautiful landscape.

Mountainhead is scary on so many levels. It has elements of cosmic and body horror mixed with some family drama and a solid thriller for a perfect combination. More importantly, it will keep you guessing until the very end. It uses the comic book medium to effectively tell a story unlike any other. This comic is awesome.


Story: fivestars Cover
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Art: fivestars
Overall: 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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