Whispering Into The Great Beyond With Daphne Byrne #1

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead

Daphne Byrne is a young girl living in 1886, New York. Her father recently passed away and she’s struggling to cope with loss. Not helping are her peers at the girl’s school, who constantly mock Daphne for her quirks. On top of that, Daphne’s mother has taken to seeing a medium who claims that she can connect Daphne and her mother with the deceased father across the veil of life and death. Daphne is skeptical, but she badly misses her father. Daphne and her mom go to see the medium.

Daphne Byrne #1 cover by Piotr Jabłoński
Daphne Byrne #1 cover by Piotr Jabłoński

Daphne Byrne #1 is the newest Hill House to come out under DC’s Black Label. It’s a period narrative about a young girl living in the 1800’s New York aristocracy. It’s a tale of loss and longing and the dark doors such pain can open.

Daphne is an outcast of sorts in the New York high society. She has atypical interests and isn’t especially social. Plus, without her father, her family has no income with which to maintain their place in the socioeconomic ladder. Daphne is a likable character and a good one to hinge this story upon. She’s brash, thoughtful, and dealing with pain she doesn’t know how to process. She’s also skeptical and smart, which sets her apart from her peers and mother.

Kelley Jones is the artist on this venture and he’s not lost an ounce of his artistic prowess, particularly when it comes to rendering tales of horror. This book looks brilliant and his skill with shadowing and knowing what to show and what not to show is downright captivating. Michelle Madsen rejoins Jones as color artist and the resulting grim yet popping color palette is great.

Daphne Byrne #1 makes another strong showing for the Hill House comic imprint. It sets up an endearing protagonist in Daphne who’s dealing with the worst tragedy of her young life. Plus, the work of Jones and Madsen is as wonderful as ever. Consequently, this one gets a recommendation. Feel free to check this one out.

Daphne Byrne #1 comes to us from writer Laura Marks, artist Kelley Jones, color artist Michelle Madsen, letterer Rob Leigh, cover artist Piotr Jabłoński, and variant cover Yasmine Putri, with Sea Dogs chapter by Joe Hill, Dan McDaid, John Kalisz, and Wes Abbott.

Final Score: 8/10

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