In a blaze of intriguing incongruity, Purity Ring takes this concept and mixes it with the tropes of slasher movies, creating a setting and story that feels both familiar and fresh. The eve of a tragedy’s first anniversary sees a murderer begin to stalk the quiet streets of Wexworth, a small town dripping with classic Americana where the annual Purity Ball is the highlight of the social calendar. But like any place whose populace make a concerted effort to convince themselves how perfect life there is, it soon becomes apparent that things are anything but.
At the centre of the emerging carnage will be the Purity Elite, the queen bitches of the local high school who strut about riding a self-congratulatory cloud of their own perceived virtue. Obnoxious characters you can’t wait to see die are a slasher movie staple, but the comic doesn’t reduce them to mere archetypes and instead imbues them with the degrees of personality demanded by the genre’s development over the last four decades. The influence of slashers is also clear in the artwork, which mimics their camera angles and cinematography as though each panel is a frozen shot from a film. In a stand-out page, the inks of this issue’s central murder scene are tinted maroon (an effective stylistic choice hopefully to be repeated in subsequent issues), with the mysterious murderer cast in sinister silhouette and ending things with the shadow of arterial blood sprayed across pristine bathroom tiles.
Although the issue’s final panel appears to clearly identify the killer, there is no way that’s all there is to it – least of all regarding how it’s possible they can even be there – and there is no doubt the dark and terrible secrets hinted to be hidden amongst the Purity Elite will be revealed in the months to come as the bodies inevitably begin to pile up.
Purity Ring’s first issue will be officially launched at Horrorcon on July 11th.
INFO: PURITY RING #1 / WRITER: JOHN FARMAN / ARTIST: RODOLFO EZEQUIEL, CRISTIAN SAURET, JUAN HERNANDEZ / PUBLISHER: VITAL PUBLISHING / RELEASE DATE: JULY 11TH