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‘Nightbreed’ Vol. 1- A Well Woven Tale

‘Nightbreed’ Vol. 1- A Well Woven Tale

 

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Nightbreed #1-4
Written by Marc Andreyko
Story by Clive Barker
Art by Piotr Kowalski
Colors by Ed Dukeshire
Published by BOOM! Studios

Nightbreed vol. 1 stems from a Clive Barker’s film Nightbreed, which was based on a piece of literature known as Cabal. Nightbreed the film was about a mental patient trying to hide from the police while hiding among a group of creatures known as the Nightbreed. The film had a series of problems with filming and marketing. The results of the film’s issues were re-shoots and many cuts from the original content. Still, the fan base for Nightbreed allowed for the creation of a 12 issue series based on the Director’s Cut of the film. Nightbreed Vol. 1 gives us a dark, bloody, and grim look into the lives of the Nightbreed.

The approach of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed is to present many different tales occurring at the same time, yet the plot takes place in different times and places. Andreyko, Kowalski, and Dukeshire work together to create harmony between the various parts of the story. Andreyko ensures the characters have their own style of speaking and dialects. We can clearly see Andreyko’s effort through the contrast of the characters speaking from the 1940s Boston to the group in 15th century Italy. Each one of the characters has their own voice and do not get mushed together. Kowalski and Dukeshire create clear transitions through art style, color palettes, and background design. The nature of the scenes such as Reverend Ashberry’s murderous ways and Chocolat’s time in 15th century Italy are dissimilar in characters’ attire and backgrounds. Ashberry exists in groovy 1960s San Francisco with bright and lively colors and vast buildings. Meanwhile, Chocolat struggles in the wilderness and cold of Italy. The work of Kowalski, Dukeshire, and Andreyko make the narrative flow together and make a complete story.

A closer look at writer Andreyko shows he takes care to make the Nightbreeds look sympathetic and more than just simple monsters. Such as when Andreyko writes Chocolat, he shows her struggles to protect her children and her will to carry on to allow them to survive. Chocolat does not just mindlessly attack humans; she wishes to help and protect her kin.

The part where Andreyko made a character flat is the human characters, especially as the majority of humans serve only to show hatred toward the Nightbreed. Reverend Ashberry is a human character who is allowed more time in the story. Yet his nature does little to improve the negative image of humanity. Reverend Ashberry is a murderous brute, who believes he does the work of the Lord. The reason behind Reverend Ashberry’s cruel ways besides thinking he is doing holy work is unclear. The only other humans who are highlighted in the story and are not murderous attacker would be the freaks from a traveling freak show. They welcome Chocolat to their camp with open arms.

Nightbreed comes with dark tones and shows the icky side of humanity. It shows what happens to people who are seen as outcasts or wicked by their appearance. The gloomy settings and world spanning tale allows for the reader to grow with the narrative and want to know more about Nightbreeds. The comic holds the potential to rise to something grand in the next set of the collection.

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