Images © DC Comics, Inc.
I was a fan of the original series of 1982, and also lettered some of them, so I decided to give this a try. Writer Marv Wolfman has done a good job of setting up a number of mysteries and characters with big troubles that are drawn into the web of housemaster Baron Winter, the one character I recognize here, other than his pet leopard. Winter is as manipulative and cranky as ever, and his house seems even weirder than I remember it, in this issue full of shadowy menaces that even a cop with a gun doesn’t have any effect on. Then there’s the serial killer who ends up in the house, dead, and the supposed FBI agents after him. The storyline is a bit confusing at times, but I’ll certainly give Marv some room to make more of it evident.
Artist Tom Mandrake is a great choice for this book. His style reminds me of co-creator Gene Colan at times, though Mandrake is a little more focused and also more willing to go for the blood and horror. Some of his faces seem a bit off here and there, but the atmosphere is appropriately chilling and moody with great lighting and rendering. The coloring by Wes Hartman is also good; not too dark but plenty of mist and mood. I’m looking forward to more.
By the way, this is the first book I’ve seen with the new DC logo. I must say it doesn’t work for me. I don’t read the D at all.