Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Horror Hunter Madness 3/23/2011 – Edge Of Doom #2

EDGE OF DOOM #2 (IDW Publishing, December 2010)  Written by Steve Niles. Art by Kelley Jones. Colors by Jay Fotos. letters by Amauri Osorio

After I recently  finished voting in the annual Rondo Hatton Horror Awards and nominated EDGE OF DOOM as the Best Horror Comic of 2010 - - I realized that I’ve only featured that book one single time on this website.  I need to catch up!  (So many comics --- good comics – so little time!) 

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Issue #2 takes a different turn from the horrific elements of the first issue and presents a science-fiction story that would fit right in with the best of the EC Comics tales from the 1950’s.  Which is the whole point of the EDGE OF DOOM series  - - using original tales patterned after those classic comics to pay tribute to the EC stable of writers and artists. 

The advance IDW press release for this story summarizes the story very well:   “Another tale of stark-raving four-color madness from our horror hosts Steve Niles and Kelley Jones! On an exploratory mission to a strange new world, space pioneer Morgan is left behind when his ship lifts-off without him. With years alone on a deserted planet, and struggling to keep his sanity, he creates a bond with the most unlikely of companions—his three-foot-tall weather robot. But can you trust your soul to a bucket of bolts? “

Niles and Kelley have collaborated many times before and they are the perfect team for these stories.  Niles sets the scene up within carefully chosen captions and dialog and Jones beautifully depicts the events.  I love the look of this book.  Even more, I can’t get over how adept Jones is at manipulating his own fantastic style to pay homage to different artists    - - - Steve Ditko in Issue #1  and Wally Wood in Issue #2.  

Morgan establishes a friendly relationship with the tiny weather robot, who becomes his confidante and counselor.  Through the first year of solitude on the lonely planet Morgan holds onto hope and remains optimistic that a rescue is on the way.  He gets a major setback that crushes his attitude in year two of isolation.  Year three brings even worse news as he discovers some of the consequences of humans exploring an alien planet.  Shortly after that the batteries of “Axl” reach the end of their limited lifespan and Morgan is completely alone. 

There’s a twist to this story revealed at the end that is worthy of the best of the original Twilight Zone television shows.   EDGE OF DOOM reads fast and always rewards on subsequent readings as it reinforces the greatness of its simplicity.  Good stories don’t have to be complex.  It’s very hard for me to get tired of these stories no matter how many times I read them.  A marvelous book.

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