Scream! Presents The Thirteenth Floor: New Tales From The Tower Block Of Terror

by Richard Bruton

No Scream! & Misty Special this year for your Halloween scares, instead The Treasury Of British Comics takes you on an all-new trip to one of Scream!’s most memorable strips – The Thirteenth Floor.

(Cover by Kyle Hotz)

The 13th Floor was a strip created by John Wagner, Alan Grant, and Jose Ortiz, that featured in Scream! right from the start, a much-loved strip that Guy Adams brought back in the Scream! & Misty Special in 2018 and 2019. Now, we get a whole Halloween special of 13th Floor terrors, so gird your loins and jump in – there are nightmares awaiting!

Welcome to Maxwell Tower, the most ultra-modern tower block you’ll ever find, all under the control of the sentient computer, Max, programmed to protect and serve Maxwell Tower’s residents. Except Max takes it all a bit too far, consigning all those he sees as a threat to the terrifying 13th Floor, a place where your worst nightmares become real.

Recently reactivated, Max and troubled teen Sam Bowers have teamed up to dish out punishment, sending those who fall foul of them up to the 13th.

But all those missing people have come to the attention, no surprise, of the police, with PC Hester Benedict investigating the disappearances. When she got too close, Sam and Max got desperate and gave her a partial memory wipe. Now, those memories have started to return and Hester finds herself drawn back to Maxell Tower and the terror of the 13th Floor.

Sam’s troubled life means he wants to get back at bullies, and Max has given him the perfect chance to do that. As for Hester, she’s having the worst time, nightmares all around, visions of her dead mom, the works. Between the two of them, they’re going to have to sort something out when something goes very wrong at Maxwell Tower and the residents find themselves just where Max never wanted them to be.

Yes, it’s a fear-fulled return to Maxwell Tower and inside you’ll find a plethora of artistic talent giving life to Guy Adams‘ story and the nightmares on the 13th Floor, all connected through John Stokes‘ black and white pages set in reality. It’s a very nicely done conceit, with some impressively strange artwork able to fit seamlessly in as the nightmarish visions… after all, who would ever thought Tom Paterson‘s artwork would ever move so well from Beano to a horror tale? But it does!

Adams’ has been working on the 13th Floor for years now, with this a continuation of the tales from the Scream! & Misty Specials from 2017 and 2019. Here, given the space to really go out there, he definitely has, embracing the very scary idea of Max the sentient computer with those arbitrary decisions that send anyone he sees as a wrong ‘un into the nightmarish world of madness and torment that is the 13th Floor. And with the ending, there’s plenty of scope to take the story of Max further and further. Hopefully that will be a lot sooner than next Halloween.

In addition to the Guy Adams’ tale, there’s also a couple of extras. You get the original introduction to The 13th Floor from back in Scream! issue one by John Wagner and Alan Grant, with the gorgeous artwork of Jose Ortiz. And speaking of gorgeous artwork, the other extra tale, The Romantic is a real great looking short, angular and stylish work from Andreas Butzbach, from a nice little tale from Scream’s editor Ghastly McNasty (or perhaps it’s editor of this special, RoboK-33F? Stand up and take a bow Keith Richardson I’m thinking?)

Now, a quick spin through the 13th Floor with the Comicon preview of the terrors and delights you’ll find inside…

First a little bit of the John Stokes art that runs all the way through 13th Floor…

And now the colour work, the stuff of nightmares on the 13th Floor…

Henrik Sahlstrom

Tom Paterson

Abigail Harding

Frazer Irving

Vince Locke

Jimmy Broxton

VV Glass

Kelley Jones

And now those couple of extra tales in this 13th Floor Special…

The Romantic – Ghastly McNasty and Andreas Butzbach

The 13th Floor from Scream! issue one  – John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Jose Ortiz.

Scream! Presents The Thirteenth Floor – Home Sweet Home. Written by Guy Adams, illustrated by John Stokes, Henrik Sahlstrom, Tom Paterson, Abigail Harding, Frazer Irving, Vince Locke, Jimmy Broxton, V.v. Glass, Kelley Jones. Letters by Simon Bowland. Colours by Quinton Winter.

Other stories: The Romantic, written by Ghastley McNasty, art by Andreas Butzbach, The Thirteenth Floor (from Scream issue 1), written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Jose Ortiz.

Published by The Treasury of British Comics & Rebellion.

Published on 16th October – Just in time for Halloween!

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