REVIEW: ‘Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Nita Hawes' Nightmare Blog #1 - But Why Tho

Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog #1 is published by Image Comics and created by Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander. It is written by Barnes, illustrated by Alexander and Patric Reynolds, colored by Luis NCT with assistance from Mar Silvestre Galotto, and lettered by Marshall Dillon. Spinning out of the world of Killadelphia, the comic follows Nita Hawes, a professor of parapsychology at Morgan State University. Driven by a past tragedy and strange things happening in her home city of Baltimore, Nita has launched the “Nightmare Blog,” a website dedicated to ferreting out the supernatural activity in Baltimore. She may be closer than she thinks, as a group of fallen angels has been sewing death and discord.

Spinoffs of a popular series are a tricky beast to manage. For one, you have to make sure that there’s enough story to justify said spinoff’s existence and for it to stand on its own. Luckily, Nightmare Blog succeeds on both counts. There are a few nods to Killadelphia—like Nita used to date its protagonist James Sangster Jr.—but readers can easily pick up this book without reading the preceding series. A bonus: if they enjoy this comic, it may lead them to Killadelphia.

It helps that Barnes and Alexander keep the same sense of modern horror, especially when it comes to the fallen angels roaming Baltimore. Alexander and Reynolds depict one of the angels literally splitting in half, with a swarm of ungodly creatures bearing rotting flesh and blood-red eyes flying out and feasting on unsuspecting victims. Another page features a series of panels where a wound in a boy’s head slowly opens, with blood pouring down his face and dripping on a table. Combined with the dark palette that the color artists utilize, it creates a disturbing tableau of images. Alexander has cemented himself as one of the premiere horror artists due to his work on Killadelphia and Spawn, and Reynolds shows that he can tap into that same sense of horror.

On the writing side of things, Barnes leans into a character-driven story that explores the nature of faith and guilt. Nita is haunted both figuratively and literally by the ghost of her younger brother Jason, who was murdered during a botched robbery. And somehow, Jason is still tethered to the mortal plane. In a clever way of solidifying Jason’s ghost status, Dillon depicts his word balloons as a faint grey color; the whole effect makes it seems like he’s constantly whispering to Nita.

The fallen angels themselves have their own struggle with faith; they seek to destroy the human race as they feel that God abandoned them after creating humanity. How Nita plans to battle these creatures is left up in the air, but it may give her the peace she’s looking for.

Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog #1 is a great example of how to launch a spinoff series, with the same well-rounded characters and heart-stopping horror that made Killadelphia a hit. If you’re a fan of Image’s other horror comics, you’ll definitely want to check this series out.

Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Nita Hawes' Nightmare Blog #1
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TL;DR

Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog #1 is a great example of how to launch a spinoff series, with the same well-rounded characters and heart-stopping horror that made Killadelphia a hit. If you’re a fan of Image’s other horror comics, you’ll definitely want to check this series out.