Comic Book Review: Halloween: One Good Scare

One Good Scare

Halloween: One Good Scare (a nice throwback to the famous line by Sheriff Brackett from the original, “It’s Halloween; everyone’s entitled to one good scare.”) was published in 2003 by H25 Festival at the 25-year anniversary, and written yet again by Stefan Hutchinson, who seems to do a lot of these, and with art by Peter Fielding. This is a one-shot series, meaning it’s one contained story rather than a series of stories.

Sorry Fielding, but this isn’t my favorite cover by a long shot. There’s a good idea here (the mask with a hell-like inferno bursting through), but the execution is off with that metallic look from Halloween: Sam I didn’t like, plus it looks blurry? Or are my eyes bad?

This one takes place in 2003, and follows David Loomis, who is following in his dad’s footsteps by being a doctor, but doesn’t share Dr. Sam Loomis’ obsession with Michael Myers. And like many characters across all mediums of Michael Myers stories, he doesn’t believe The Shape is still alive. I do appreciate him not following in what he sees as his dad’s obsession. That’s a good track to take.

Enter Lindsey Wallace, a new patient of his at Smith’s Grove, and who as a six-year-old, narrowly escaped Michael Myers’ rampage in 1978. She has a great line in this that’s a play on the Sheriff Brackett line:

“One good scare can change your life forever.” – Lindsey Wallace

That scare, her encounter with Michael Myers, certainly changed her life forever. As I keep saying, I appreciate that we get to enter into the minds of Lindsey Wallace (or Tommy Doyle or Sheriff Brackett or a whole host of other characters), and see how they are dealing with the aftermath of the “one good scare.” In this case, we already know it’s affected her badly: she’s at Smith’s Grove after all, and she’s suffering from behavioral disorders, severe depression and she’s had drug problems.

I’m still not quite sure what to make of Fielding’s artwork. I didn’t like the cover, as I said, but the panels are … better and interesting. They are rather minimalist in the backgrounds and details. The characters in them are detailed, particularly the faces, but the background is pretty drab, which, for a horror comic, is an appropriate aesthetic. Certainly, it’s better than that shiny look. Check this one panel out for an example of what I mean:

One Good scare2

Although, even in that panel, they have the sheen of Michael Myers’ butcher knife, which I don’t need and serves no real purpose. We know he has a knife. Keep him in the shadows.

Well, I’ve read a lot of these comics over the last week, and I have to say, this comic features absolutely the most ridiculous and absurd scene to date. Dr. Sam Loomis, in a flashback, goes to visit a young Michael Myers at Smith’s Grove. He puts a gun with one bullet in the chamber on Michael Myers’ lap and tells him that if he wants to kill again, then to shoot and kill him.

It’s way too on-the-nose, and my read on the Dr. Sam Loomis character in the original is that he’s guarded against Michael Myers, yes, and he’s fearful of him, yes, but not in an active way. It’s more of a detached way and from afar. I couldn’t imagine that version of Dr. Sam Loomis doing that with the gun. Not yet. Not until The Boogeyman is truly manifest.

Now, with Michael Myers stalking Lindsey Wallace, and them acknowledging that, “Then it was clear that whatever it was that drove him to terrorize his family couldn’t be sated. Destroying them wasn’t enough,” I quite like. Opening up the Michael Myers universe in that way, if you will, allows for storytelling beyond, “I’m going after my sister Laurie Strode.” That’s welcome, and good.

I like the drawing of Michael Myers’ full body in this panel, and I’m always going to enjoy a close up of his abyss-like eyes, but gah, the mask looks too metallic.

Boogeyman2

Wow. Also in contradiction to his father, Dr. David Loomis cowers away from Michael Myers and let’s him take Lindsey. He even wonders how his dad could face Michael Myers. That’s an interesting choice, and if you’re going to make him the opposite of his dad, you might as well go all in with it. And I mean, it’s perfectly understandable to cower in the face of Michael Myers.

What’s interesting is at the end, they tease that this story will be continued in the summer of 2004, but it seems it wasn’t. So we won’t get to see if Dr. David Loomis finds his courage to face Michael Myers or if he becomes just another victim.

Overall, this was a good comic, if for nothing else than to get that great Lindsey Wallace line. I liked getting to spend time with her psyche, and I liked Dr. Sam Loomis’ son being different. The scenes with young Michael Myers were ludicrous, though, and the artwork for the most part left a lot to be desired compared to others in the comic book canon.

Boogeyman3

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