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Regression #1: Not The Fun Kind Of Ugly

Written by Justin Micallef on Wednesday, April 19 2017 and posted in Reviews

Regression #1: Not The Fun Kind Of Ugly

Bunn, Luckert, and Enger's horror nightmare is one that should have stayed repressed.

Source: Image comics

Source: Image Comics

Written by Cullen Bunn
Drawn by Danny Luckert
Colors and Letters by Marie Enger 

Regression is an ugly book. Bugs either spill out of orifices or become organs, characters mean mug the camera like a fish eye lens, and there's a fare amount of carved flesh. As a horror junkie, I should be all about this.  The thing is that all of these disparate parts, the gore, the shocks, the ugly, do not amount to anything because the book failed to connect to me in any tangible way.

Regression follows Adrian, a man suffering from grotesque hallucinations, as he discovers, from repressed memories triggered by hypnosis, that he may be entangled in a conflict with some sort of evil force. That's about all we get from the book; Adrian sees a spooky thing, he reacts, he's not sure whats real. Adrian fails to connect as a character because we get to know next to nothing about him and the horror fails to captivate because without any sort of grounding or tangible understanding of threat, it becomes vapid and ancillary. In addition, we get so little from this book aside from jump scares and teases that the reader has no solid group to have a grasp of this book or even describe it. Weird, ugly shit happens to a troubled man. That's about it.

Luckert's art is an odd beast. It's computerized to the point of disorientation for me; characters feel like their faces are spinning off from them or constantly contorting. The photo-referencing is egregious, too. Adrian looks exactly like Tom Hiddleston in the first panel that we're introduced to him. When we don't have enough to get a feel for Adrian as a character and we can't divorce his outward appearance from one of the most recognizable actors working today, you end up with oil and water. 

Enger's colors are not awful, but their flatness and desaturation make an ugly book even uglier. Best thing I can say is that her letters serve their purpose and do not distract when changing form for the more eerie parts of the book. I understand that this is a horror comic but there's very little to hang onto as a positive in this book in terms of both art and writing. We end up with a memory better left repressed. 


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About the Author - Justin Micallef

Justin would say he lives and breathes comic books but that would mean a lot of paper cuts and internal bleeding. In the mean time, find him on Twitter @JustinRMicallef ranting about Superman's lack of trunks and look for his latest work on the walls of your nearest bathroom stalls.
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