cover image Hound


Sam Freeman, Sam Romesburg, and Rodrigo Vázquez. Mad Cave, $19.99 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-1-952303-78-4

“War turns men into animals,” warns a soldier in this frenetic comics horror story set on the battlefields of WWI. In the script by Freeman (Basic Instinct) and Romesburg (Children of the Grave), feckless young British private Barrow is tasked with managing the Hounds, a regiment in the “Gas Quarter” of the trenches in 1917 France. Holed up in a dilapidated farmhouse, wearing gas masks that don’t fully protect them from the toxic atmosphere, the Hounds descend into an atavistic state of secret rituals and bloodlust-crazed raids. As war closes in around them, Barrow is warned by the murderous Hounds that “there is no place for you in our new world.” The narrative loses some cohesion on the way to its bloody climax, but newcomer Vázquez’s art, marked by loose, boldly inked linework and a lingering sense of menace, remains striking throughout. The muddy, overgrown landscapes and period military details are rendered as memorably as the scenes of terror and wartime violence. It’s a solidly entertaining spine-tingler in a concise package, perfect for horror fans who like a dash of existential terror mixed into their gore. (Feb.)