I’ve always been a little bewildered when it comes to the Silent Hill franchise. Sometimes the stories are smooth operating machines with clear characters, conflicts and conclusions. And then again sometimes you come across a book like Dead Alive, and don’t have the slightest clue what the hell is going on. Oh, how I wished this one hadn’t been so abstract, but hey – we’ll get through it!
What it seems is happening in this issue is the small number of living humans in a small community are being drawn into Silent Hill. Ghastly figures appear. Seductive young monster ladies beckon to the men in their lives. And it all comes together when these individuals are indeed transferred – somehow – to Silent Hill.
The book ends with readers returning to this absurdly creepy little town. But that’s where things are left off in issue #1. You can guarantee issue #2 is going to ratchet up the confusing insanity.
I think the narrative, while still just a tad murky, is solid. The story slowly comes into focus as the book wears on. Knowing that, it may be wise to view this first issue as something of a primer; the good stuff should flow aplenty in issue #2.
And then you’ve got the artwork, which looks like it would be more at home in a gallery than in a comic. Some of the artwork is beautiful, some is almost too jumbled to decipher what you’re seeing. But the humans – not the mutant humans – are absolutely gorgeous, empowered by heavy ink strokes. Yeah, this one has some charm to it, no doubt.
It’ll be interesting to see where the second issue takes us. Book one has my attention, but I don’t know how long that attention will laugh if the entire miniseries plays out like an acid trip on page.