cover image Mother Nature

Mother Nature

Jamie Lee Curtis, Karl Stevens, and Russell Goldman. Titan Comics, $29.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-78773-913-0

Oscar-winning actor and screenwriter Curtis teams up with filmmaker Goldman and artist Stevens (Penny) for an environmental horror story with ambitions as vast as the Southwestern sky. The desert town of Catch Creek is built around Cobalt Energy, which has long mined the area for oil and uranium. Cynthia Butterfield, a persuasive, folksy talker (who incidentally looks exactly like Curtis), inherits Cobalt from her father and tries to rebrand it as a green company, launching an experimental water purification process and promising locals she hopes to “rebalance the world.” Her efforts don’t impress Nova Terrell, an activist whose own father was killed in an industrial accident. Nova’s visions of a Navajo spirit start to come true, as the earth rises horrifically up against humanity through a series of natural disasters, including deadly ice, fissures, and giant hailstones. The narrative began as a screenplay but works excellently as a graphic novel, with care taken to portray Catch Creek as a community with a complex network of needs, responsibilities, and unpaid debts. Stevens’s photorealistic watercolor art contributes to the realism, including brief but shockingly bloody moments of gore. The arc can overreach in its pursuit of big ideas, however; it’s sometimes tricky to track the busy plot and large cast. Still, fans of thoughtful, character-driven horror will find plenty to dig into. (July)

This review has been updated to reflect changes that were made in the finished copy of the book.