Beard: New comics deliver terrifying ‘what if?’ scenariosWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the best fiction places the reader in a “what if?” scenario that not only challenges them for answers but also delivers a heaping helping of terror. Two such recent comics have intrigued Jim Collins, proprietor of Toledo’s own JC’s Comic Stop, one of them even hitting a little close to home: In Snapshot #1 from Image Comics, the lead character works for a comic book store.
“It starts out in San Francisco with Jake Dobson riding his bike through the park,” Collins explains. “He finds a smart phone in the grass, picks it up and, after going into work, decides to open it up to see what kind of photos might be on it. He makes a shocking discovery: photos of what appears to be a killing. Suddenly the phone rings and he makes his first mistake … he gives his name. If you find a phone with pictures of a murdered individual on it, don’t give them your name!” After finally going to the police, Jake’s trouble deepens as the “murdered” man in the photos appears to reclaim his phone. Jake then decides to go to the “dead” man’s apartment to ask him some questions. “What happens next is just the start of this four-issue mini-series,” says Collins. “This is intriguing enough to want to see how it all ends. One drawback is that it’s in black and white and the art is very plain.”
Perhaps the big daddy of all “what if?” comics is The Walking Dead, also from Image and coincidentally just kicking off an all-new season of its spin-off TV series. “The Walking Dead #107 has to one of the most anticipated issues in a while,” notes Collins. “At the end of the last issue the villain Negan, who has Rick’s son Carl, tells Rick he can’t wait to see what he has done to his son. This series continues to show that the most dangerous around are not the zombies themselves, but those that should be banding together to ensure mankind’s survival. If you’re watching the TV series and not reading the comic, you truly do not know what you are missing. Buy the trades or the hardcovers to catch up and you’ll thank yourself later.”