Dead serial killer Matt takes a detour from his quest to find the mythical City of Lost Souls and free himself from the ghosts of those he murdered. After being forced to relive the rage and anguish of one of his victims, and subsequently becoming guided by a flickering shadow of something that might have once been a sense of responsibility, he undertakes to hunt down those the grieving father was about to exact vengeance upon before being killed.
Meanwhile, we learn that Matt’s mad midget guide Ki actually has a life of his own outside of shepherding clueless spirits through their own personal purgatories, and in the process we gain some insight in to the machinations of the soul collector who set Matt on his search. There is much more going on than we’re being told, and it’s wonderfully difficult to predict exactly what’s going to happen because of it.
The separation of the characters into several smaller groups better allows their individual personalities to come though, and we get to know more about several of Matt’s ghostly entourage as their interactions with one another flesh them out and allow them to be seen as real people, rather than just the numbers carved into their flesh that he reduced them to in death.
As the body count begins to rack up, you start to wonder if Matt’s new path as an undead avenger is merely the flipside of his rampage as a serial killer, as each appears to be fuelled by his desiring of an excuse to kill people. Robbed of his belief that the murder victims who now haunt him were deserving of the violent ends he inflicted upon them, his unslakeable bloodlust constantly drives him to seek out more deserving prey, each passing moment seeming to further erode his already questionable sanity.
Although City of Lost Souls unflinchingly showcases the utter nadir of human nature in bursts of brutal fury, the dialogue manages to mine a vein of dark humour that prevents it becoming too disheartening, while the artwork continues to delight in the gleeful depravity of onomatopoeic viscera. In this issue there is more blood and chaos than the first two combined, culminating in eight pages of unadulterated carnage that at its climax strongly suggests that in Matt the soul collectors have unleashed a death-dealing juggernaut upon both the spirit realm and the seedy underbelly of the mortal world, and one that might be more than even they can handle.
CITY OF LOST SOULS #3 / WRITER: JAMES MCCULLOCH / ARTIST: JANINE VAN MOOSEL / PUBLISHER: MOOMAC COMICS / RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 26TH