cover image Human Remains

Human Remains

Peter Milligan and Sally Cantirino. Vault, $19.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-63849-110-1

Milligan (Enigma) and Cantirino (the I Walk with Monsters series) build a layered horror epic from a simple premise: Earth is overrun by monsters that are attracted to strong emotion. People struggle to suppress their feelings as society restructures itself so that “all expressions of fear, anger, love, lust, and humor are forbidden.” The plot follows the parallel stories of a cast including Bisa and Dax, a couple split by their differing reactions to the crisis; Jess, who tries to escape her abusive boyfriend under emotional lockdown; Reverend Hays, a preacher who exploits his followers’ fear; and Dr. Sharma and General Sullivan, who oversee government experiments into the nature of “the life-forms.” Cantirino’s loose, animated artwork can feel rough, but she draws uncanny creatures in atmospheric settings, from a religious revival festival to a commune in the Pacific Northwest. The slight cartooniness of her art renders the gore only more horrifying. Milligan takes the story in unexpected directions, as the survivors try to control the monsters through telepathy, meditation, and reworking their own psyches to become “new humans” in touch with their emotions. Horror fans who like their scares balanced with a human touch are likely to dig this one. (Sept.)