REVIEW: ‘The Red Mother,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Red Mother Volume #1
The Red Mother Volume 1 is published by BOOM! Studios, written by Jeremy Haun, art by Danny Luckert and letters by Ed Dukeshire. After an evening of food, and laughter Daisy and her boyfriend Luke are heading home. While on their way, an unseen presence draws them into a nearby park and attacks them. During the event Daisy loses her right eye and Luke is dragged into the night. When Daisy comes to she is in a hospital bed, and no one knows where Luke is.

Horror comics have always presented a special kind of challenge. For horror to be at its best it has to establish atmosphere. With a monthly release cycle breaking a story into bite sized chunks, this necessary component can be hard to maintain. Happily, comics can be found in collections, allowing readers to consume more of the story in one go. I feel this helps the horror genre tackle this issue. And The Red Mother Volume 1 certainly establishes this atmosphere over the course of the four issues it contains.

Few horror troupes are more unsettling than the nightmarish stalker. The horrible thing that feels like it’s always there, but isn’t. It plays on a universal sensation we all have had. The feeling that something is watching us. And horror is best executed when it plays upon something everyone can relate to.The Red Mother Volume 1 wields this unsettling  sensation like a surgeon with a scalpel.

After the attack at the park, Daisy gets an implant to replace her lost eye. At first, things are fine. But soon she begins to have nightmares. Shortly thereafter, she begins to see things through her missing eye. Her vision goes red and she sees a monstrous pursuer approaching her.

The Red Mother Volume #1 

As her episodes get worse Daisy begins to seek help from both friends, and medical personnel alike. They give her the explanation you would expect. Stress. That coupled with the concern for her still lost boyfriend is clearly making her mind play tricks on her. And while these scenes don’t tread any startling new territory Haun writes each one with excellent skill. We feel Daisy’s frustration and fear. Almost more importantly though, Haun also manages to write the supporting cast in a way that makes them comes across as genuinely concerned. While they give the expected response, you don’t feel like they are writing off her concerns either.

While Haun does a wonderful job writing this book, the true start of this show is The Red Mother Volume 1’s artwork. Luckert’ s art captures Daisy’s fear, pain and frustration vividly. These elements, along with the design of her supernatural pursuer, gives this book’s visuals an excellent foundation. A foundation Luckert further builds upon with excellent color use.

For most of The Red Mother Volume 1 the colors are kept on the milder side. Tones feel softer, and not many elements truly pop out at the reader. But when one of Daisy’s bad moments come everything becomes a wash of vibrant red. This simple shift escalates the panels perfectly. Coupled with the choice to make her pursuer black and white, remaining the only non red element in these panels, and the tension is heightened, while keeping the monster as eye capturing as possible.

Finally, The Red Mother Volume 1’s lettering work finishes off the presentation of the book with due skill and talent. Dukeshire does an excellent job keeping the story arranged properly, while keeping it out of the way of the rest of the visuals.

The Red Mother Volume 1 is a great first volume for its tale. It sets its story up well, and ends on a cliffhanger that should definitely leave readers wanting more. And with issue five coming out at the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a few readers ended up picking up that as well to see what comes next.

The Red Mother Volume 1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


The Red Mother Volume 1
4.5

TL;DR

The Red Mother Volume 1 is a great first volume for its tale. It sets its story up well, and ends on a cliffhanger that should definitely leave readers wanting more. And with issue five coming out at the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a few readers ended up picking up that as well to see what comes next.