Advance Review: Reliving A Classic Nightmare In James Tynion’s `The Closet’ #2

by Tom Smithyman


A horror comic where a third of the story is an argument between friends? While it may sound like an odd choice, writer James Tynion seems to pull it off with his true-to-life style. It may not make for the most compelling comic book, but it is a good read.


Most of us have had a nightmare where we’re being chased or threatened, and just as we try to defend ourselves, we realize that we can’t call for helps. That leads to even more horror as would-be saviors never become aware of the danger.

That is the danger in the middle chapter of The Closet. Young Jamie and his dad Thom are on a cross-country road trip to their new home in Portland, Oregon. Jamie is tortured by memories of the creature that came of out of his closet in their old house in New York. Sleeping at a friend’s house during the trip doesn’t help, as the closet door mysteriously appears on ceiling and a creature emerges. Jamie tries to call for help, but Thom and his friend can’t hear a peep.

As familiar and horrifying as that sounds, this chapter’s real drama is all too human. Writer James Tynion crafts an extended back and forth between friends around a campfire. Thom’s friend Mack accuses his buddy of being a walking disaster who is hellbent on ruining his marriage as well as his son’s upbringing. Tynion spends nearly one-third of the issue on this argument. It’s a curious choice for any comic book, much less a horror one. It leads the reader to wonder whether the tale’s real villain is the monster in the closet or someone much closer to home. Regardless of that answer, Tynion does his usual excellent job of creating true-to-life dialogue even in the most peculiar circumstances.

Artist Gavin Fullerton doesn’t have as much to work with given the issue’s devotion to the fireside chat. Still, his depictions of the monster and Jamie’s terror strike a chord, particularly when the youngster shrieks his silent scream.

With only one issue left in this limited series, it will be interesting to see where the creators take us. Is the monster real or is it a result of Jamie’s circumstances? And ultimately, is there truly a difference?

The Closet #2 will be available for purchase on July 6, 2022.

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