I was a big fan of the premier issue of Scout Comics’s INFERNOCT — it took a lot of the eldritch horror I love and re-contextualized its themes in the framework of a grittier BUFFY. Of course, as the beginning of the series, it only touched on the Lovecraftian themes. It was enough to get me interested, but not enough to fully satisfy. I’m happy to say that INFERNOCT #2 is a great follow-up to the beginning. INFERNOCT #2 has everything you could want: giant eldritch spiders, abandoned asylums, and inbred rednecks!

INFERNOCT #2
Courtesy of Scout Comics

Horror in the Boonies

In the first issue, jaded teen Sam met a crazy old monster hunter at his creepy old house. Then an evil eldritch lamprey bit her, and her perception awoke to the otherworldly horrors around her. Now, she is an amateur monster hunter herself. Her first mark is in an abandoned asylum in the middle of nowhere. Joey, her stoner best friend and designated driver, travels with her to Dollop Town — a place where “they all fuck their cousins and throw rocks at your car if you drive through.” Truly, what could possibly go wrong?

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At the asylum, Sam’s wound from the lamprey reacts with her surroundings, showing her haunting visions of the past. The asylum was more of a concentration camp than a mental hospital. When I realized the small grave markers in the field outside were the numbered tags of the inmates, my stomach dropped.

After a momentary run-in with the inbred locals, Sam and Joey head inside the dilapidated asylum. There’s graffiti all over the walls and a sofa, giving it an oddly lived-in feeling. The truth is far from comforting. After finding Shiggy, a teen that went missing, Sam awakens to the true horror around her. She has walked right into the nest of a giant eldritch spider. So, you know, clearly a worst-case scenario.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong at a Haunted Asylum?

As much as I love Sam’s personality and characterization, I was a bit unconvinced by her willingness to go on this crazy adventure. There wasn’t a scene where the old man actually tells Sam about what’s going on. I assume that will be in a coming issue, but in the beginning of this one, we see her already on her way to the asylum. I don’t doubt Sam is the kind of person to go along with this plan, but I would at least like to have seen her react the old man first. It’s not clear that she understands what she’s even seeing.

INFERNOCT #2
Courtesy of Scout Comics

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Hidden Malevolence in INFERNOCT #2

The art, on the other hand, was phenomenal all the way through. Eli Powell’s illustrations, while not overly detailed, do a fantastic job of conveying the intended feeling for each scene. There’s an oppressive aura covering everything in this series. Even the scenes taking place outside on a sunny day carry a certain weight around them. It’s as if there’s something sinister lurking nearby, just out of sight. This style works perfectly when Sam does see the ethereal hidden world. The malevolent aura is almost tangible in the real world, but it’s overpowering in the other. The ghostly pale green of that world and the disturbing sights it holds within are perfectly Lovecraftian.

If you like teens fighting horrible monsters and the eldritch horror of HP Lovecraft, I urge you to check out INFERNOCT! Issue 2 hits shops Nov 29, 2017.

INFERNOCT #2 by Mina Elwell and Eli Powell
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
INFERNOCT #2 is a blast to read. The main thing I wanted from the series after the first issue was even more Lovecraftian horrors and the second issue delivers that in spades.
89 %
Giant Eldritch Spiders are Scary
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