John Carpenter’s ASYLUM #11
Created by: John Carpenter, Thomas Ian Griffith & Sandy King
Written by: Sandy King & Trent Olsen
Art by: Leonardo Manco
Colors by: Mariana Sanzone
Letter Artist: Janice Chiang
Cover by: Nick Percival
Publisher: Storm King Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
“” (22 pages) [no ads!]
The first page has a passage from the book of Revelations chapter 12 verse 9. Essentially, it affirms the defeat of Satan and his minions. The page permeates with an image of Father Daniel Beckett raising his arms towards Heaven as corpses screech and scurry.
A barrage of horrifying images are found on the second page. Demons rise from the earth. Lilith burns Beckett and shows her true visage.
There’s a kidnapper in Arlington, VA. He is eluding Officer Jack Duran and his erstwhile companion Beckett. A pile of tires leads to a trapdoor hidden from sight. The duo descend to what entails a storm bunker. Beckett lights up his cigarette for a third time when he realizes something is causing a draft. The weakened wall is pierced to reveal an abandoned bedroom. The crime in question happened at least a half-century ago. In a separate (but perhaps related) case, an exterminator finds a dead body in a home. The Sheriff has no idea what his men are up against.
In the distant past, a distinguished gentleman has brought a blond boy to the very same underground room discovered in the present. A nasty playmate awaits this innocent. The poor boy had no chance in hell [pun intended!]
Beckett and Duran show their findings to the Sheriff. They have taken the liberty of absconding a family portrait of the crazed lunatic unbeknownst to them. The man’s wife was pregnant. The photo is from fifty years prior if not a bit more. The man would be an unlikely suspect since he would now be in his eighties. Their unborn child could potentially be the abductor. Beckett emphasizes the eventual end times. The Sheriff thinks that he is equating the unseen child to the Anti-Christ. Beckett laughs this off and corrects him by saying humanity would have expired by now. The emergence of the Anti-Christ has to come the purest, most innocent, most incorruptible soul. The demon, in the guise of a kidnapper, is searching for that. The Sheriff wants the twosome to swear on a Bible that they are being serious, otherwise they are no longer welcome in town.
Lilith talks to the creepy guy who is as young in appearance as he was five decades ago. She is aware of their lackey being hunted by Beckett and Duran. She wants the errant imp to be corralled. The innocents are somewhere in Arlington. They must strike now or forever lose their chance. The blond boy is now a minion. He clubs his former tormentor. The man informs him of a new mission.
Demon-boy finds the odd couple in their motel room. He tosses the two around like rag dolls. Beckett tries to exorcise the possessed youth but to no avail since it no longer has a soul. The former human spots his parents’ photo. He scratches the glass and snatches it, escaping. Duran has a sneaky suspicion as to his next stop.
It will be at Ethan and Grant’s home. [Note: I will interject here. This is my first time reading this title. I naturally researched. This is the second part of a mini(?)/multi(?)-story arc.] Grant will be used as bait since he realizes the adults need his help in flushing out the demon-spawn. Could that be his brother Ethan that disappeared? Is Grant immortal? The trap is set. Grant is sitting on a swing in the backyard when the clubbed crazy makes his move. The Sheriff is agog, finally seeing the abomination with his own eyes.
Bullets don’t make much of an impact but eventually there’s a blood trail. Dugan and Beckett follow it to a cave. The father appears bathed in light, hands in the air, with his son in mid-air riding to give the do-gooders the beatdown of their lives.
John Carpenter is a renowned filmmaker who’s currently enjoying semi-retirement. He thrilled and terrified American audiences with such spine-chillers like Halloween, The Fog, Christine, Prince of Darkness, They Live. He also delivered the suspenseful action-packed movies Assault on Precinct 13 and Big Trouble in Little China as well as the sci-fi flick Starman. Lastly, he created the character of Snake Plissken in Escape from New York and the sequel Escape from L.A. His name is on this title and he has creative input to be sure but he’s not the writer. Nevertheless, this is his brainchild.
Thomas Ian Griffith is also a semi-retired actor who jumped on board with Mr. Carpenter to create this universe. Unbelievable!! I shouldn’t say it like that but I find it fascinating that another citizen of the cinematic world has transferred his talents to four-walled storytelling. Mr. Griffith’s big break on the silver screen was as the antagonist in Karate Kid III. Thus, he also had a say in crafting the horrific tale that continues to unfold.
Sandy King is Mr. Carpenter’s wife and a film producer in her own right. She also happens to be the EIC of Storm King Comics. There is not much info on this company but I can surmise that it is named after her. ASYLUM is their only title but Darkchylde is in film production development, based on the comic book from the mid-90’s.
Trent Olsen is the co-author. He is just as ghostly on the internet. *chuckle* One search came up as the “third Olsen twin” but this clearly is not him. IMBD surprisingly does list this gentleman’s brief résumé as a writer for this very book.
The pair have been collaborating as of issue six. I know that this is about things that go bump in the night. The horrors presented are real and I’m drawn in to this world easily suspending my disbelief. As I mentioned earlier, this is my first entry into this series. I like the mismatch between Beckett and Duran. Beckett is a mix of Preacher, Constantine, and Lucifer (all Vertigo characters). I will say I like the fact that he’s not your typical priest. Plus, his tattooed physique doesn’t hurt my eyes. Jack Duran is a cop’s cop but he easily accepts the supernatural and is willing to assist the holy man any which way. Satan has many disciples. This is a lifelong commitment and battle.
Leonardo Manco’s gritty style delivers the right tinge of horror for this title. His range is far and wide having worked on HELLBLAZER for almost four years. The creatures are his expertise. They give me goosebumps and create shivers down my spine. These unsightly individuals put circus freaks to shame. Mr. Manco’s drawings truly are the stuff of nightmares.
Mariana Sanzone is now Mrs. Manco. The surprises I have come across in gathering information!! It goes without saying that her colours would complement her husband’s in every detail. The blood, the guts, the gore are all standard fore in the horror genre. The use of sepia for the family portrait is indicative of a much simpler time. The above-world palette gives a resemblance of normalcy in a hidden terrifying world.
Janice Chiang is a bona fide veteran!! I had no idea her career spans three decades :0 She has done numerous books for the Big Two. Her best efforts are the eerie onomatopœia that I can distinctly hear in my head.
Nick Percival is an established artist from the U.K. He has made his mark on 2000 A.D. and JUDGE DREDD, two British stalwarts. His website lists some impressive feats especially in the realm of video games. His rendition of Lilith has an eerie allure. However, if you get to close to her, she’ll slash you to pieces!! http://nickpercival.daportfolio.com/
On a scale of one to ten, I rate this book a 7.5 in terms of fear factor.
This entire team has its tendrils in social media.