Saturday, July 15, 2017

Regression #3 Review

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Writer: Cullen BunnArtist: Danny Luckert, Marie EngerPublisher: Image ComicsRelease Date: July 12, 2017Cover Price: $3.99

So far Regression has been an interesting read with it blurring the lines of what is real and not. It’s been a pretty straight forward horror story based around the idea of split personalities or possession, but where it differs, for the most part, has been from its art. This is possibly the first comic in a while where the art tells a lot more of the story than the actual dialogue, but as much as it gives it more than doubles on the confusion. Constantly wondering what is going on and what exactly is real, the question is how long until that method continues to be satisfying. Without some kind of progression in what we can understand it can quickly become a mess of just a lot of questions. So I go into this issue wondering if this is the issue that it becomes a little monotonous or will we start to get more of a grasp on what’s transpiring? Find out along with me, after the jump.

We jump into this issue in a bit of a cold open as we get what I’m referring to as the “Gothic  Adrian” seemingly in pain and staggering through the foggy nothingness. It’s outlined in gothic style depictions of bugs and snails in the framing of the panels that keeps up with the creepy bug factor. Soon enough he comes upon the woman, along with some robed figures, which made an appearance in the previous issue as she tries to get Adrian to stick around to witness the beauty and wonder that he was seeking. She ends up causing him some pain and coming back with a bloody hand as she relays the fact that they are bound to one another and there is no longer any escaping it. This seems to cause Adrian to snap back into his typical appearance which ends the cold open.

With that out of the way we get back to where the previous issue left off with Adrian being visited by the police. Not a lot happens here, Adrian decides to lie about his reasons for contacting the hypnotist who the officer notices and even decides to broach openly, but otherwise it’s a pretty natural scene with nothing of note. After the officer leaves though, Adrian is talking with Molly over the phone and decides to meet later, but in the background you can see someone out on the scaffolding of Adrian’s apartment. The person can be seen here, and later, when Adrian goes to his room and is once again confronted by the woman in his visions. This time it goes a bit differently as Adrian tries to run but met by more shadowy figures throughout his apartment. Eventually Adrian seems to be left on the floor after seemingly ingesting a gigantic disgusting looking bug, but as the scene closes looks to be on the floor with a foaming mouth and bloody nose with the figure still on the scaffolding.

The whole time I’m going through this book so far I keep hoping for something to turn and give some kind of more context for these visions, but so far we seem to be just getting hints of future possible plotlines. In the end of the end of the apartment scene it makes me think we’re supposed to be left with the idea that this will just be seen as some kind of drug overdose or drug induced accident. My problem is I don’t want to get caught up in that plotline if it’s not even meant to be possible in the eyes of the reader. I can’t help but draw parallels to another comic released this same week where the reader is meant to question the reality of the situation, but with it I have no doubt on what the question actually is. With Regression so far I feel like the drug idea muddy’s the idea of what I’m supposed to question more than it adds to the speculation.  

Eventually we move on with a scene with the police that hints at new information but doesn’t add much to the issue before heading off to the conclusion of the issue with Molly waiting for Adrian. Overall I felt a little down on this issue. I still think the book as a lot going for it in its imagery and plot, but this issue really did more to make me question the book itself rather than wondering what is real and not in the actual story. It seems to go out of its way to hint at possible plot lines rather than actually progress the story. We get two scenes with the police, but both scenes do little to add to the plot in this issue and both just lay bread crumbs for possible paths for later storytelling. Is the police officer going to trust Adrian or further investigate his lying? What was the item the police officer brought in to show the investigator? Who is the person on the scaffolding? I’m fine with hints and foreshadowing or telegraphing, but with the story progressing more in the first issue than it did in the following two issues, those hints and bread crumbs can be frustrating.

Bits and Pieces:

The art and imagery is still a driving force in this book if you’re in for the creepy factor, but the story does more to hint at future possibilities than it does to actually progress the story forward.


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