REVIEW: ‘The Plot,’ Part #1

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The Plot Part #1

The Plot Part #1 collects issues one through four of the original horror series published by Vault Comics through their new Nightfall line. The series is written by Tim Daniel and Michael Moreci with art by Joshua Hixson, colors by Jordan Boyd, and letters from Jim Campbell.

One of the best comics of last year, The Plot follows Chase Blaine who is forced to take custody of his niece and nephew, McKenzie and Zach, after his brother, Charles Blaine, and sister-in-law mysteriously and tragically were murdered. Hoping to start over with the family he was previously estranged from, Chase moves the three of them into his ancestral home in Cape Augusta. However, the house is full to the brim with secrets, monsters, and other ungodly horrors.

From the start, it is clear the Blaine family has a dark history. Prior to his death, Charles Blaine was celebrating his birthday but struggled to focus on the joyous occasion instead he is reeling over the fact his brother wouldn’t answer the phone. During his speech, Charles speaks about the history of mental illness in his family. This sequence is cut between that event and Chase’s home where he is in the dark, alone. This juxtaposition sets up the tone of the entire series and establishes not only that Chase was estranged but that he is suffering just as their father was.

After moving in, Zach is pulled into the water and saved by Reece, a friend of Chase who knows all too well the horrors that lurk in the deep, black bogland behind the house. Strange, disturbing figures follow the children. Despite seeing the evidence in front of him, Chase is unable to accept the reality of the Blaine house.

The Plot Part #1

The Plot Part #1 is a slow burn. The horrors contained in the house do not reveal themselves all at once. The distorted figures that follow around Zach and McKenzie are terrifying because they are lurking in the background as if waiting for the best moment to make their presence known. The suspense is palpable and uncomfortable in the best way. But the best part of The Plot Part #1 isn’t the horror itself but instead how it affects the characters in the series, most notably Chase. Chase is a troubled man who is trying his best. His past, his father’s death, and his personal demons haunt him. The more Chase discovers of the house and his family’s dark past, the closer to losing his mind he gets.

The Plot Part #1 is a thrilling mystery ripe with horror elements. These elements, the monsters roaming the house, the bog, and darkness of the house itself, are effective thanks to Hixson’s art. Everything feels cluttered, dirty, and dingy adding to the creepy atmosphere created by the narrative itself. However, the real star of the book is Boyd’s coloring. The dark color palette consists primarily of deep blues and greens with an eerie yellow used to create dimension and shadow. The book’s coloring looks like an eerie, dirty swamp which perfectly reflects the setting.

The series has a lot to say about PTSD and mental illness as each character struggles to retain their sanity. Chase’s desire to run from his problems and the town of his childhood is familiar even when the monsters that haunt him are not. Overall, The Plot Part #1 is an excellent horror series that engaging because of its focus on the mystery of the Blaine family. The interesting and engaging characters and their reaction to the trauma they have faced ground this supernatural story in a reality.

The Plot Part #1 is available now in comic book stores and online.

The Plot Part #1
5

TL;DR

Overall, The Plot Part #1 is an excellent horror series that engaging because of its focus on the mystery of the Blaine family. The interesting and engaging characters and their reaction to the trauma they have faced ground this supernatural story in a reality.