Halloween is right around the corner, and there is no better way to celebrate than with comics! But, there are so many scary comics, where do you even start? Do you want a superhero with dark undertones? Or maybe a campier spooky story? Perhaps something more violent is what you crave to get into the season?

Well, you’re in luck! Here at ComicsVerse, we caught up with a few of our beloved writers and editors and asked them, “What comic puts you in the Halloween spirit?” If you’re having trouble getting into the spooky spirit, look no further than here to find a comic that will fill you with Halloween fear!

Joyful fear, but fear none the less.

DEATH VIGIL by Stjepan Seijic

Recommended by AJ Zender

Those of us who have fallen in love with Halloween generally fall into two camps. There are those who enjoy the more campy aspects of Halloween — the costumes and candy of the season bring holiday joy. Others, though, enjoy the dark and spooky aura that accompanies black cats and witches. Luckily for fans of both, I have the perfect comic book recommendation for you! DEATH VIGIL is an Image Comics story written and painted by Stjepan Seijic. DEATH VIGIL is a high energy, supernatural superhero story delving into the heart of the afterlife. Starring the Grim Reaper herself, this read will make you laugh just as often as it scares your pants off.

Halloween
Image courtesy of Image Comics.

After their untimely deaths, Clara and Sam meet Bernadette, the Grim Reaper, who invites them to join the Death Vigil. For millennia, the Vigil has protected the world against monstrous, Lovecraftian horrors from another dimension. Using mystical weapons and superhuman powers, these reincarnated soldiers go to war against the monsters and their human hosts. Seijic fills the story with interesting and hilarious characters. James, for example, is a young kid capable of summoning the creatures and soldiers from his collectible card game. More importantly, though, Seijic’s general design for the series astounds. The monsters, all built from tentacles, claws, and massive teeth, are terrifying beasts that help to balance the eternal optimism of the heroes. Overall, a fun, frantic, and amazing read. DEATH VIGIL is sure to get you in the Halloween mood!

CUTTER TPB Review: Slasher to Surreal

BATMAN: HAUNTED KNIGHT by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale

Recommended by Renji Kuriakose

BATMAN: HAUNTED KNIGHT is a story written by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, the same duo responsible for BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, and BATMAN: DARK VICTORY. HAUNTED KNIGHT is an anthology trade with three different stories that occur around Halloween. While THE LONG HALLOWEEN has Halloween in the name; it does not focus on the Halloween aspect as much. The three stories in this trade are “Fears,” “Madness,” and “Ghosts.” Each of these stories focuses on a specific villain and how Batman overcomes certain obstacles to stop them.

Halloween
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

“Fears” showcases the Scarecrow destroying power grids, forcing Batman to stop him. While Batman is trying to stop the Scarecrow, Bruce Wayne finds a new love interest. Alfred learns that the love interest has married rich men before and then kills them two weeks later. Bruce breaks off the relationship and focuses on stopping Scarecrow. Batman eventually stops Scarecrow, and the love interest receives a note outlined in a bat symbol telling her to confess.

“Madness” showcases the Mad Hatter kidnapping children across Gotham City for a Wonderland tea party. Mad Hatter kidnaps a young Barbara Gordon to serve as his Alice. Batman and Commissioner Gordon work together to save the children including Barbara and stop the Mad Hatter. The story also mixes in childhood flashbacks of Bruce Wayne showing events leading up to the eventual murder of the Waynes.

I Believe in Harvey Dent- Jeff Loeb’s BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN

“Ghosts” is the weirdest story in that it doesn’t seem like a Batman story at all. “Ghosts” is a strange take on the classic “A Christmas Carol,” where three ghosts visit Bruce Wayne. Each of these spirits explains to Bruce that being Batman shouldn’t be the main focus of his life.

Overall, the first two stories showcase the Halloween spirit with crazy tales and scary villains. Tim Sale’s art gives Gotham and all the characters a nourished look which works well in the world of Batman. “Ghosts,” on the other hand, focuses on a gothic horror theme instead of the straightforward fearful. These stories are a good Halloween read because they manage to combine the dark and nourish world of Batman with the campiness we all enjoy of Halloween. The stories have dangerous villains, but also ridiculous schemes. It has striking visuals with fun adventures. If you are looking for a fun Batman story to read, be sure to pick up BATMAN: HAUNTED KNIGHT.

CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack

Recommended by Jeremiah Johnston

For an occult spin on an old favorite, I recommend CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA to get you into the Halloween mood. It is an ongoing series written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and illustrated by Robert Hack.

CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA #5 Review: Something Wicked This Way Comes!

If you’ve never read any series under the Archie Horror line, know that they don’t change the story’s fundamentals. Sabrina Spellman is still a teenager from Greendale. She still lives with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda, and her snarky cat familiar, Salem. The story, however, eschews the light-hearted take on teenaged drama clashing with the responsibilities of being a witch. Instead, we get a tale much, much darker.

CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA Halloween
Issue #5. Image courtesy of Archie Comics.

The book takes witches being the servants of Satan quite literally. Much of what issues #1-#8 explore are the inner workings of the coven and the Satanic Church of Night. There are more pentagrams, goats, and demon-conjuring than I’d care to admit. Yet in the course of this, we learn much about Sabrina’s heritage. We see her warlock father, his forbidden union to a mortal woman, and the proper witch he drove to suicide. We get cannibalism, blood-drawn pentagrams, and plenty of goats; no upside-down cross, naked hags, or full moon dances are spared. If you want to see what some groups thought they were burning in Harry Potter, this is it.

Yet, the book is still Sabrina, something I believe Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa enjoys honoring. Satanic church references are tongue-in-cheek (especially if you grew up in the high church) and Hilda and Zelda treat most horrific happenings as banal, everyday events. The book takes place in the 1960s, and Robert Hack’s semi-realistic illustrations call to mind the style present in horror comics like CREEPY or EERIE of that day.

CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA Halloween
Sabrina recounts some happenings of her 16th birthday, Issue #4. Image courtesy of Archie Comics.

Halloween is as good a time as any to start your macabre adventure with Sabrina. Plus, you can get ahead of everyone else when CW releases their adaptation of the series next year.

SPIDER-MAN: KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT by J. M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck

Recommended by Leijah Petelka

Episode 24: Comics for New and Returning Readers – SPIDER-MAN: KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT & SPIDER-MAN: THE DEATH OF JEAN DEWOLFF

Spider-Man is one of my favorite Marvel heroes. One of the best ways to kick of Halloween is with KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT by J. M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck. The comic starts with Kraven’s descent into madness. He takes a lot of different drugs and hallucinogens to try to get into the mindset of our beloved Spider-Man. In the process of understanding the Spider, Kraven loses his mind and his grip on reality. He sits in a room filled with spiders and begins to devour them. Honestly, the imagery was not something I needed before bed. Mike Zeck’s depiction of Kraven chomping away at fistfuls of spiders was deeply upsetting. But I did it anyway. During this drug-fuel insanity, Kraven manages to “kill” Spider-Man and then buries his not-quite-dead body.

Halloween
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The real horror in this story lies in some of the ideas Kraven presents. Kraven doesn’t actually kill Spider-Man. Instead, he drugs Spidey hard enough for him to be semi-conscious for two weeks. The thought of being buried alive is horrifying, and we, the helpless reader, can do nothing but watch as Spider-Man tries to escape. Additionally, Kraven ends up donning the Spider suit. He runs around town, masquerading as Spidey to prove himself better than the original. Kraven’s tactics with villains, however, is entirely different. He just murders and maims anyone who gets in his way.  Kraven even makes a point to defeat Vermin — a villain Spider-Man couldn’t beat on his own.

So this comic shows readers what it’s like to be buried alive, a madman devouring spiders, and a half man/half rat that eats people alive. It’s pretty horrifying.

WYTCHES by Scott Snyder, JOCK, and Matt Hollingsworth

Recommended by Kat Vendetti

Interview with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo at Five Points Fest 2017

Scott Snyder, JOCK, and Matt Hollingsworth give witches a whole new image with their series, WYTCHES. The Rooks family moves to Litchfield, NH to start a new life. They do this after their daughter Sailor has a run-in with a bully that results in the bully’s disappearance. But in their new town, rumors about the true cause of the event start to circulate. Sailor and her family discover the supernatural root of their problems: wytches. They lurk in the forest. They relentlessly come for anyone who’s pledged to them. And once you’ve pledged, you’re pledged.

Halloween
Image courtesy of Image Comics.

JOCK and Hollingsworth conjure up some terrifying imagery to accompany Snyder’s horror story. JOCK’s design of the wytches is grotesque, and they’re made even eerier by Hollingsworth’s splattering of colors. His coloring illuminates the most shocking moments of WYTCHES as well as adding a sense of unease to perfectly mundane moments. As a result, the dread of a new danger constantly pervades the story. With each panel, Snyder, JOCK, and Hollingsworth create the sensation that something mysterious always lies ahead. You never feel like the Rooks family is safe. If you want to be utterly creeped out this Halloween, this series is for you.

Happy Halloween!

With trick or treaters coming to your door soon, these comics will give you a scare you’ll love! Have more ideas as to what to read for Halloween? Let us know what you’re reading to get into the spooky spirit! 

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One Comment

  1. Nicholas Ulanowski

    October 29, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Grimm Tales of Terror from Zenescope Entertainment is fantastic, too. I feel that Zenescope gets a little bit of a bad rep in certain circles (because of the sexy way they market themselves). But trust me, Grimm Tales of Terror is really good. Every issue is self contained kinda like a modern day Tales from the Crypt comic. There’s lots of references to urban myths but plenty of just good old fashioned horr0r stories too.

    And what, no mention of Afterlife With Archie? Really? Otherwise a good list.

    Reply

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