Hosted by the macabre, but somewhat silly, Cousin Eerie, Dark Horse Comics’ first issue of their new horror anthology Eerie is a hit and miss affair at best. The beautiful cover by Jim Pavelec is sure to entice readers to pick up this newest of books recreated in the vein of the EC Comics horror books of the 1950s (and the original Eerie itself), but alas none of the stories inside appear to be tied to the cover image. The stories inside (most in retro-like black and white) do contain some solid sci-fi horror shorts, but for the most part are not really that engaging or anything new.
David Lapham’s opening sci-fi/horror tale “A Robot for Your Thoughts” is a solid enough, and gory enough, tale that (somewhat erroneously) references ideas like “The Singularity,” but ends up coming off as a bad Twilight Zone episode about the eventual take-over of robots. “Life Species” by Bill Dubay is almost a comedy of errors that really doesn’t provide any real humor. “Beta-Eden” by Christopher A. Taylor and Rafa Garres is the strongest tale included in this debut issue. It involves a group of human astronauts who crash land on an alien world inhabited by libidinous female aliens, who appear benevolent and only desirous of continuing their race once all of their male counterparts have died off due to a plague, only to reveal that the results of the copulation process aren’t exactly beneficial to the survival of the astronauts. It also is the only tale that is artistically unique and engaging as Garres’ pencils are both sensually inviting and grotesquely repulsive at the same time. “Child” by Bruce Jones and Richard Corben is a not too thrilling retelling of the Frankenstein monster story with a twist. For a “new” anthology though, there aren’t that many new stories. Both “Life Species” and “Child” are reprints.
The market is ripe for the revival of a classic horror anthology series and Dark Horse Comics is just the type of publisher that can make one work. If Eerie doesn’t get better as it goes along though it simply won’t be around long enough for anyone to care.