"Regression #9" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Danny Luckert
Colored by Marie Enger
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 25th, 2018
Sometimes it's best to let the past stay in the past. Adrian explored his past lives and found that he was once Gregory Sutter, a crazed murderer with ties to the supernatural. Now he's being held captive by a strange cult of sorts. Meanwhile, in an effort to track him down and save him, Adrian's friends, Molly and Anton, go through the same hypnotic regression. All of their lives are linked in some way, even across time.
Regression #9 is split between the past and the present. We see the final moments of Sutter as he hides his heinous acts from authorities. There's an interesting dynamic at work here as the lives of Sutter and Adrian are intersecting across time. Sutter's voice is coming out of Adrian's mouth in the present and vice versa. This ups the creepy factor on the book considerably. I'm just imagining Adrian being shunted into Sutter's body just before he's put to death. What a horrible way to die. As it stands, Adrian is still very much in the present, although he's doing battle with Sutter in his own mind.
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Artist Danny Luckert frames the scenes in the past with these intricate gothic layouts. It's like you're watching the comic play out across a large and ancient building. I half expect to see Batman sitting atop a gargoyle on the side of one of the pages. As Sutter's hideout is underground, his pursuers are going into the sewers, so it's like the setting extends out of each image.
Sutter is a monster in more ways than one. He's got a little boy in tow and he intends to do all manner of despicable things to this poor kid. His appearance is filthy, with sickly pale skin. He looks diseased, like he's going to suck the life out of the child. Everything about him is untrustworthy. The light from his lantern casts eerie shadows across his face, making him look even more sinister.
In Regression #9, Luckert draws what is probably the most horrifying sequence I've seen all year. I wasn't sure what to expect when it started, but holy crap, does it deliver some chills. I had to put the book down for a second, out of fear that I might vomit all over it. I mean that as a compliment, of course. We're talking about a horror comic. Every time I thought it was through, it kept going. Fortunately, you get some great reaction shots from the other characters. Their faces reflected my own revulsion as to what was going on.
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Writer Cullen Bunn reveals the connection between the past lives of Adrian, Molly, and Anton in this issue. This is going to create some very interesting possibilities, especially with how this chapter wraps up. It's frightening to see how these people are influenced by their previous lives, both positively and negatively.
This is where Regression really excels. This kind of horror cuts right to the bone. This is something these characters have absolutely no control over. They have no say in who they were when they were last on this mortal coil. Instead, they're plagued by the actions and personality of people that came before them, forced to suffer due solely to the fact that they were the next link in the chain. Now the question is, can they break free of these restraints and live a normal life? Or are they doomed to repeat these horrors in a new age? It's so very chilling to think about.