What Lies Beneath The Forbidden Village? Whispering Dark #3 Reviewed

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

The truck is shot off the road by an American helicopter, leaving Hannah and the crew to move forward on foot. Irina leads the rangers forward seemingly willingly. Bergen’s condition continues to worsen. After more tragedy and bloodshed, the survivors make it to the “forbidden village.” Bodies litter the streets, and the only survivor is a cackling boy who runs into a church upon seeing the rangers. The group isn’t in the village long before a Russian convoy is spotted heading towards them. The rangers decide to fight, even if they are badly outmanned and outgunned.

Whispering Dark #3 cover by Tomas Aira
Whispering Dark #3 cover by Tomas Aira

Whispering Dark #3 is another triumph of horror and war storytelling from Christofer Emgard and Tomas Aira. This Apocalypse Now-esque descent takes more than a few turns that leave it just as much in the realm of existential horror as the “war is hell” narrative.

The trip to the forbidden village is horrific, and things only descend further in the village itself. We are left in the perspective of Hannah from some point after the events, and she assures us this is only the beginning.

If there is a criticism to be had, it is that Hannah’s language is a little too flowery for its own good, and the comic comes off as too lofty for its own good. A degree of bluntness and matter-of-fact statement would help in parts, especially given the Christian-raised adventuring nature of the narrator.

Beyond that, the comic is immensely unnerving, and the forbidden village gives the reader just enough of a taste of what’s to come to leave them eager for the finale.

Whispering Dark #3 art by Tomas Aira and letterer Mauro Mantella
Whispering Dark #3 art by Tomas Aira and letterer Mauro Mantella

Tomas Aira’s artwork remains excellent, and the detailing works to give the world a grounded feeling that is shaken by the cruelty and horrors that abound in the story. The placement and use of creatures and monsters in the margins allows the reader to still wonder what is truly there and what is imagined. The forbidden village is a similar mixture of plain architecture and human mutilation, and it serves the horror element well. The color work is cold and cruel itself, and it looks great.

Whispering Dark #3 is another compelling and disquieting dive into a world at war where the unspeakable horrors in the shadows seem to be erupting to the surface. The writing and art come together to make an immensely engaging experience, and the book earns a recommendation. Give it a read.

Whispering Dark #3 comes to us from writer Christofer Emgard, artist and cover artist Tomas Aira, and letterer Mauro Mantella.

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