MACABRE is a comic that fits firmly into the recent style of
supernatural/horror tales influenced by hit shows like Fringe and
Walking Dead. This first issue by Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson
introduces us to the good Doc doing what he does best- exterminating
those things that go bump in the night. One part mad scientist and
one part Ghostbuster, he creates and uses various gadgets in his
Doc Macabre is hired by an elderly couple to exorcise a ghost from
their home. This house couldn't be begging any harder to be haunted
as it looks like the Addams Family lived there.
Niles' story was pretty straightforward, the real highlight here is
the art. Some artists are more suited to zombies and monsters than
others. The three that top my list of "Most Capable of Monster
Carnage" would be Stephen Bissette, Doug Mahnke and Bernie Wrightson.
True to form, Wrightson fills the book with a great deal of dread
and gloom while at the same time his cartoonish faces give the
characters a life of their own. At first, I really wasn't feeling
the character design for Doc Macabre. He came off reminding me of
the guy from Garfield. By the end of the story, however, I started
to warm up to him.
course, the end of the story came pretty quick. Turns out it was
only sixteen pages long. That was a little disappointing...
from the small page count, the only other thing I found lacking was
a supporting cast. All we have here is Doc and his loyal robot
assistant/butler/secretary. I'm sure that they were left out because
of space restrictions but I think the book would greatly benefit
from having someone to interact with him on a regular basis. From
what we see in this issue, Doc seems like he could be an interesting
hero to read about. Unfortunately, the shortness of the story and a
lack of personal depth left much to be desired. The comic did read
rather nicely, though, and Doc's dialogue does give a good
indication of his personality.
may not seem like much at the moment but if Niles and Wrightson
stick with it and flesh the world out a bit more, I think DOC
MACABRE will shape up into a book worth watching.