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This comic is not for the faint of heart… its twisted imagery and emotionally charged story are for horror fans who want substance with their gore. I wish I had thought of this.
Simon Monroe, who has become an urban legend known as Saint Chaos, gets messages from people at the end of their rope and he chooses to save them. But this is just to kill some time before Simon, in agony over the unsolved murder of his mother, gets killed by a serial killer called Honeycomb. He promised to kill Simon after a short period of time and Honeycomb is looking forward to it… but will Noah change his mind?
Writer Noah Dorsey (Non-Humans) has created a very compelling protagonist with Simon. I do think it’s a little fast for him to be considered an urban legend, given the short time frame, but I like how he has become the equivalent of a vigilante. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing an ongoing series of him helping people… if he survives Honeycomb, that is.
I also like how he works his anti-heroism in with the murder of his mother. There is some real mystery and emotion surrounding his mother’s murder. However, the way he treats the kid by dragging him around on a leash is a bit much. How has this man not gotten caught yet?
I’m also not sure at this point in the mini-series if I like how Honeycomb is connected with some shady organization. I feel like having a psychotic maniac working for you is a poor idea. The character of Honeycomb is an enjoyable yin to Simon’s yang. He shows he is more than a match for Simon making for a real potent threat.
Another style choice made by Dorsey and Huzska that I like is when they add in some small funny tidbits that give the reader a breather from the very serious story. For instance, when Simon talks to a cop working on his mother’s case his thought as soon as he picks up the phone (“The dick.”) combined with the “dick’s” I LOVE POLICE coffee mug are more than enough to make me crack a smile.
My favorite thing about this issue is Zsombor Huszka’s artwork. It matches with the tone of the issue perfectly and has some terrifying images. It would be impossible to pick out any one moment that stands out because each panel has an interesting style to it. When Honeycomb is speaking with a member of an unknown organization, the random white fuzzies on the page were distracting, but they were then almost instantly redeemed a couple panels later when Huszka purposely blurs Honeycomb’s face to show what the shady character he is talking to sees. This simple technique is super effective. Then there is Simon’s mother who he sees in a dream. The image of her in bed with a split head still gives me chills and adds to the emotional dream. There are a couple of other hiccups with the artwork. For instance, when Simon is talking with a kid he’s rescued, the background is usually absent or only partially drawn in. At one point it looks like a paint by numbers that Huszka forgot to paint in. But overall the artwork is too great to really dwell on this.
The colors (or should I say lack of colors) also really work for this issue. It only uses a handful of colors but black and white dominate the work. Red always stands out vividly and I enjoy the combination of red and green that Honeycomb has at the end, but it reminds me of the Joker—though is that really a bad thing? The sky is also sometimes given an auburn tint which makes me think of a chilling autumn, adding to the tone of the book.
If I wasn’t already sold on Saint Chaos with the first issue, this second issue definitely has me on board. The story is interesting and made all the more gripping thanks to its enjoyable protagonist. The grotesque artwork adds a whole new level to it. If you are a horror fan who enjoys some real compelling emotional substance while still reveling in the unspeakable, pick up a copy of Saint Chaos. I wish I had thought of this!