The Red Mother #9 is published by BOOM! Studios. It comes from the creative team of writer Jeremy Haun, artist Danny Luckert, and letterer Ed Dukeshire. Issue nine begins with Daisy arriving at the chapel after receiving a mysterious text from Cordelia. She enters to find Cordelia under attack by a masked assailant with a knife. She rushes to her aid and is able to chase them away, saving Cordelia’s life. As the attacker flees, they take the strange statuette that was hidden inside of Leland’s puzzle box.
Later, at the hospital, Daisy waits to hear about Cordelia’s health. Leland arrives and Daisy fills him in on the attack. He heads into Cordelia’s room while Daisy waits outside. As she waits, she attempts to contact Ian who continues to be unavailable. But between this attack and the reemergence of Daisy’s hallucinations, it seems that danger may be closer to her than ever before.
With The Red Mother #9, the horror of Haun’s tale is becoming much more prevalent. The Smiling Man has made his return and new mysteries have come with him. But what I think really stood out to me with this issue is how it solidified the subtext of survivor’s guilt and grief. In issue eight, we see Daisy moving forward with her life and coping, the second time she has done so after the loss of her fiance. Here, in The Red Mother #9, we once again see the horrors tied to her past coming back to haunt her.
While these horrors are tangible and very real, they also carry with them the baggage of the loss that catalyzed this series. Whenever it seems like she is able to move forward and live her life again, the Red Mother and her cult or the Smiling Man return. As someone who has dealt with grief in a variety of ways, it really stood out as a profound parallel to my own experiences. The way that the pain returns in a variety of ways, and the way it feels, at times, like you’re being haunted. This helped me relate to this horror story in a way I am seldom able to, despite my love for the medium. This is all a credit to Haun’s story and the excellent plotting.
Luckert’s art and colors continue to impress. While I am loath to continually document the clever use of red and it’s proximity to the cult, I will say that it thankfully persists. My favorite instance of this being the red lettering and banner on the hospital when Cordelia is being discharged. It serves as a reminder of her connection to the cult and stands in stark contrast to the normal world.
Additionally, Luckert’s introduction of the color purple seems to have deeper implications as well. Since this occurs when Cordelia is under attack by the masked person, it could be inferred that purple represents the cult coming into conflict with an outside party. It could also just be a good way to vary the red-oriented palette a bit and I’m overthinking it. Either way, it stands out and exemplifies Luckert’s excellent work.
The letters from Dukeshire are outstanding in this issue. From the screams of rage and terror to the calm conversation between friends, it all helps enhance the text and the artwork and does so in a clean and appealing manner.
I’ve been singing the praises of The Red Mother for as long as it’s been in print and The Red Mother #9 doesn’t disappoint. The story is gripping and has a meaningful subtext. The art is beautiful and full of clever foreshadowing and storytelling elements. The work that this creative team has done to craft a meaningful horror story is laudable. If you’ve been keeping up with this series, you’ll love the most recent issue.
The Red Mother #9 is available now wherever comics are sold.
The Red Mother #9
The work that this creative team has done to craft a meaningful horror story is laudable. If you’ve been keeping up with this series, you’ll love the most recent issue.