THE SCHOOL OF THE DAMNED #5
Shit just got real. Perhaps lulled in a false sense of security by the impregnability of their rural sanctuary, the school’s inhabitants are woefully unprepared for the assault they are about to feel the brunt of as Abraham and a band of mooks actually wielding flaming torches assault the institution. All they need now are some pitchforks and they could be a peasant mob from a Universal horror. Meanwhile, Medusa, Caligari and Moloch arrive in Berlin to root out the Nazi commander who has taken a lethal interest in them.
Events in neither location go especially well for our monstrous heroes. After having so far had as much confidence in the indomitability of the characters as they do themselves, it’s sudden but nevertheless exciting to see them in positions where their survival is not guaranteed by their strength or abilities. Be it by force of arms of treachery, few of them end the issue not at the mercy of another.
Two different artists drew this issue, and although they have supremely differing styles, that their efforts are split by location of the action means the divergent visuals are not too jarring, while the countless sprays and pools of blood that drench the pages are not scrimped on.
It seems that the prophetic nightmare had by Cesar (who is conspicuously absent this issue) of Death coming to the school is now being realised. With the demise of one protagonist and numerous anonymous background characters – not to mention the lethal imperilment of many others – it’s made apparent that by the time the conflicts are concluded there will be many more bodies still to drop.
Even monsters of legend and creatures of the night are not invincible, and having the point rather graphically illustrated throws us into a state of apprehension, along with the rare thrill of being genuinely unable to predict exactly how things will ultimately turn out, or even what will happen next.
INFO: THE SCHOOL OF THE DAMNED #5 / AUTHOR: JOHN FARMAN / ARTIST: THOMAS CRIELLY, JOHN HOWARD / PUBLISHER: VITAL PUBLISHING / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW