Issue: The Dead Cell OGN
Writer: John Barker
Artist: Scott DM Simmons
Release Date: 2011
“How would the world be changed if the mentally ill were allowed to determine reality? The Dead Cell explores the experiments of the recently graduated Monica McCoy, and her employment with the secret “Dream Research Program” at Breckenridge State Hospital. While being briefed on the basics, nothing can prepare her for the horrors she encounters upon reporting for duty. What ensues is a tale of madness, reality, and the supernatural chronicling one woman’s journey as she comes face to face with the horror of The Dead Cell.”
Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
I have been treated to Simmons’ work before, but it was not in a horror title (lookup Wannabe‘s). I think overall that the book worked on a high level. However there were a few panels that personally I thought some angles were a little off. Did it distract me from enjoying the book though? No not at all. I think the way that really odd/psychological stuff was depicted came off great. Scott did a great job of bringing a very complex story, at times, to life. The black and whites worked so much better than color could have even dreamed of. Overall a great looking book.
Story: 4.0 out of 5
At first I was really hoping this was not going to be too much like Syndrome, and after reading further into it I was glad it wasn’t. Barker has a very unique voice that he uses to tell a very complex story. I don’t want to spoil anything but I thought that the main character was just a horror comic narrator until the end. The way she was presented was different and I thought really great, until the end when we got the twist. And don’t get me wrong great twist. The only problem that I had with any of the writing had to be the “Hood” story. I found it to be a little too stereotypical. For the depth that John put into the other stories, that one seemed to flat.
Dying Breath: 4.0 out of 5
I liked this book a lot. I thought it gave a fresh breath to a look at psychological horror, and it was presented on an anthology level. Now saying that it was an anthology don’t let that remove you from knowing that there is an overarching storyline at work. Simmons’ art was great and fit the stories really well. Barker’s use of the english language to get the story off was fantastic (better than I can do in trying to sum it up, haha). The Dead Cell might not be for everyone, but it was for me. Worth a look if you want something that is unusual and makes you think.
If you would like to buy or know more about The Dead Cell you can find it at http://www.arcana.com