Horror series from Image Comics, Regression, arrived for its second issue this week after some pretty fantastic reviews for the first, terrifying issue. Written by Cullen Bunn and drawn by Danny Luckert, with colors and letters by Marie Enger, the book has an unnerving quality in almost every aspect of its writing and artwork.
Adrian is plagued by increasingly terrible nightmares and fears he’s having a breakdown. When the nightmares seem to have a life of their own, and they begin to turn into hallucinations replete with creepy-crawly giant insects, he finally confides in his friend Molly, who convinces him to undergo a past life regression session in hypnosis. In this issue, the fallout from that seemingly successful exercise is murder, mayhem, and yet more hints of madness.
A few things make this issue interesting and a natural building point for the rest of the story–the first is that we begin to see real-world physical repercussions for Adrian’s nightmares–and they are no longer simply confined to the realm of hallucinations. Another thing that keeps us on our toes is that we get some greater detail about what kinds of visions Adrian is having and get to “see” the bizarre and increasingly narrative-led experiences he’s having. In other words, it looks like there’s a method in this madness–an actual “story” to his nightmares that may hint at a “real” past life steeped in the occult.
Lastly, the introduction of several characters who are investigating a possibly related murder in this issue helps us keep a grip on “normal reality” in the comic. We get the reactions of cops, even ones with “morbid curiosity” who are going to help ground the reader in what a basic human reaction to all this should be, even as we are drawn visibly into the world of gruesome visions along with Adrian.
A lot of the hints and menacing elements of the first issue have come to fruition in this second issue, making it a solid read. The artwork continues to be nervy, tense, active, and disgusting as needed, with a sense of surface tension in the characters’ faces and movements that really contribute to the atmosphere of dread. The colors are also a great juxtaposition of many hues that we might assume are happy or bright with ambiguous events and unclear outcomes.
I strongly recommend reading Regression and catching up while you can–this looks to be a well-paced and horrifyingly satisfying comic as the issues roll out.
Regression #2 arrived in comic shops today, Wednesday, June 14th, 2017.