Comic Book Review: NORTH 40

by:  Jorge Solis

From Wildstorm Comics, North 40 is an all-out exciting monster extravaganza. The county sheriff and his loyal deputy attempt to protect their own rural town when vampires, zombies, werewolves, and giant robots suddenly take siege. With the residents of the town trapped inside by a mystic force field, no one from the outside world can come in and save them! This horror comic is a tremendously fun and entertaining read!
In Midwestern America, small town life just seems rather bland and dull at Conover County, an area north of interstate 40. Two bored students stumble upon an ancient book, much like the Necronomicon from Evil Dead, at their local library. Once these students start reading the spell book, they accidentally plunge their town into a Lovecraftian nightmare, where ordinary citizens have gained uncanny superpowers, while others have transformed into freakish monsters.

Now living in a bizarre and outlandish reality, Sheriff Morgan has to deal with rowdy locals, who have surprisingly become hulking mutants. The sheriff may look like he is just about ready for retirement, but he definitely won’t back down from a fight. While the rest of his officers are running away and abandoning their posts, Morgan will not stop until he has restored order into his small town.
Deputy Wyatt Hinkle always saw himself as the underdog, never the winner. With incredible superhuman strength, Wyatt wonders if he should use his powers to save the townsfolk who always hated him before. The deputy has his hands full when flesh-eating zombies suddenly crash the high school prom. The zombie attack at the dance is the highlight of the comic book. Imagine Superman taking on zombies and not having to hold back.
Amanda Walker walks the chaos-ridden streets with a rusty scythe in her right hand. An invisible witch whispers into her ears, telling her how to conjure magic. Amanda has to gather the over-worked sheriff and the exhausted deputy against a powerful demonic god that has risen from the depths of Hell. In the climax, Amanda, Sheriff Morgan, and Deputy Hinkle have to team-up to battle against a giant squid-like creature.
The script by author Aaron Williams moves at breakneck speed. So much tension builds, as the storyline jumps from one life-threatening scenario to another. The strength of this miniseries comes from William’s quirky dialogue. In every single page, his uniquely voiced characters say the funniest one-liners. The ending leads to a promising sequel, but unfortunately, there has been no news about “North 40 Part 2,” especially with Wildstorm Comics shutting down.
Each scary and clever moment in the narrative is punctuated by the amazing artwork of Fiona Staples. The illustrations are reason alone to buy this! Staples captures the character designs perfectly; the protagonists actually look like people you would see in a small rural town. Staples has such a distinctively moody look and expressive style, which heightens William’s writing.
Comic book and horror junkies will definitely get their desserts with North 40! All rolled into one, readers will find a lot of superhero action, small town charm, and Lovecraftian monsters.

If you’re not reading North 40, there’s something seriously wrong with you!

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Christopher Gibson

Chris can be found only at night, playing vast hours of XBox 360, reading uniquely disturbing novels, and scouring Netflix for late sixties horror flicks. He has 69,000 Gamerscore and counting. Supposedly at the age of three, he beat Super Mario Bros. on NES, though possesses no recollection of this. Writing novels since the age of fourteen, he hopes to one day publish them. On Friday nights, he is seen at the local indie film theater, then the pubs next door shortly after, for thorough critique among friends. Follow him on Twitter @Literaryman420



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