Review: Joe Hill: The Graphic Novel Collection

In Comic Books, IDW by Beyond The Geek3 Comments

Joe Hill, like is father, Stephen King is a horror storytelling master. Unfortunately, he also looks like him. Seriously, King, based on his looks, was destined either to be the lead of a singer of Eddie Money cover band or transmit creepy stories onto paper. Luckily, for us, he choose the later.

(I Love You Mr. King! Don’t Curse Me!)

While most will know Hill from his novels, for me, it’s through his work with IDW over the years. Mostly from the stellar Locke & Key. When is this getting a HBO or Netflix series? Seriously, people it’s one of the best narratives in the last 20 years. Hands down. While that illustrious saga is not part of this collection, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t just as excellent.

This mammoth, 480 page masterpiece includes;

Kodiak (2010) co-written by Jason Ciaramella, art by Nat Jones

A young man is betrayed, and finds himself in a desperate battle of man versus beast. Is the love of a maiden enough to keep him alive?

The Cape (2010) written by Jason Ciaramella, art by Zach Howard and Nelson Daniel

Every little boy dreams about putting on a cape and soaring up, up, and away… but what if one day that dream were to come true? Eric was like every other eight-year-old boy, until a tragic accident changed his life forever. The Cape explores the dark side of power, as the adult Eric – a confused and broken man – takes to the skies… and sets out to exact a terrible vengeance on everyone who ever disappointed him.

The Cape-1969 (2011) (Prequel to The Cape) story by Joe Hill and Jason Ciaramella, art by Zach Howard and Nelson Daniel

It’s 1969 and the war in Vietnam rages on. Captain Chase, a Medevac helicopter pilot for the US Army, is shot down over enemy territory. He and his crew are in a fight for their lives as they play a deadly game of cat and mouse with the Vietcong. We soon learn that machine guns and grenades aren’t the only scary things hiding in the jungle.

Thumbprint (2013) written by Joe Hill and Jason Ciaramella, art by Vic Malhotra

Private Mallory Grennan had done terrible things as an Abu Ghraib prison worker. After being discharged from the army, Mal thought she was leaving her sins behind to start a new life back home. But some things can’t be left behind — some things don’t want to be left behind.

Wraith (2014) written by Joe Hill, art by C. P. Wilson III

Based off NOS4A2, which introduced readers to the terrifying funhouse world of Christmasland and the mad man who rules there: Charlie Talent Manx III.

Also included;

“Throttle” (2009) Joe Hill, with Stephen King. Adapted by Chris Ryall with art by Nelson Daniel and Rafa Garres.

From the Road Rage collection, story honors Richard Matheson’s (Twilight Zone) classic tale and Spielberg debut film, Duel.

“By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain” (2012) written by Joe Hill and adapted by Jason Ciaramella , art byCharles Paul Wilson III

Issue one of 2016 Bram Stoker Award Winner Shadow Show: All New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury. Story is a love letter to Bradbury and earnest portrait of child’s wonder and the danger it can awake.

While is had read a number of these works, I had been exposed to all of them. While, Silver Water and Throttle are personal faves of mine, Kodiak, a tale I had not read until this collection is moving into faves box as well. It was great revisiting The Cape. If you haven’t read it before, you’re missing out. One of the best super hero morality tales ever put down. It’s dark, exciting, flush with gray moral dilemmas —it’s like Hill borrowed 80’s Frank Miller’s brain for a bit, hit it with some electricity and said how deep is the rabbit hole?

You won’t be disappointed with the art, each artist brings his a game, and Nat Jones wins the award for best looking bear drawn in a comic ever. I can honestly say, you won’t be disappointed with anything in this collection, it’s frigging fantastic.

Hill, like Luke Skywalker (everything relates to Star Wars), has followed in his father’s footsteps, and also like Luke he might be better…

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