[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Hannah Vance flies a helicopter for the United States military. She was extracting a squad of army rangers out of a warzone, and anti-air guns took her chopper out of the sky. Her captain died in the crash, and now Hannah and the rangers are on their own to make it out to safety. Enemy combatants are spread throughout the forested territory, and the odds are against Hannah Vance and the squad of rangers.
Whispering Dark #1 brings its reader into a taut and vague conflict where the devoutly religious pilot Hannah Vance must decide what her faith means to her and what she is willing to do to survive.
Hannah is a very self-aware lead; she quickly realizes that her role as a pilot was more fueled by thrill-seeking and ambition than the claim humanitarianism she makes in the opening scene.
Whether there is a supernatural element to Whispering Dark is kept vague. Horrific and shocking things happen, but they are within the realm of reality.
The grounded nature of the comic is what makes a lot of the horror strike home. The difference between a war tale and a horror story is all in the framing, and Whispering Dark skillfully straddles the line between the two.
Tomas Aira is the artist on this venture. His style is within the realm of what one may call conventional in the modern comic art scene, but it still does its job in rendering this chilling tale. The gore is handled especially well, and his color work is restrained in such a way to keep this story feeling unnerving, visceral, and real.
Whispering Dark #1 is an intriguing first step into what seems to be a hybrid war and horror story set in a conflict quite similar to the ones the U.S. is currently engaged. The characters are organic and interesting, the art is solid, and the horror beats are effectively unnerving. This one definitely comes with a recommendation. Give it a read.
Whispering Dark #1 comes to us from writer Christofer Emgard, artist and cover artist Tomas Aira, and letterer Mauro Mantella.