Shock Value: Legacy is a collection of seven stories, created by a variety of authors and artists and produced by Hellbound Media. The anthology presents us with a collection of horror comics, takes old tropes, puts new twists on them. The anthology also shares fresh new stories, sure to keep you reading until the very end.
The prologue begins with a group of friends meeting at a shop called Coffee of Otranto. Through this sequence, a reference to a child as a monster, wall decorations of bats and monsters, and a panel devoted to killing a fly make horror, the supernatural, and death become core to this anthology. This is even further solidified after learning that what some consider the first Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto, shares names with the coffee shop. However, what shines in the prologue is the second to last panel. This panel breaks the fourth wall and draws the reader in by inviting them to tell the group stories.
“Youth” is the story of a pandemic, however, not one that leads to the zombie apocalypse. It is the story of a virus that very well could be the end of vampires. There is no known cure for this disease, and it seems to affect everyone. What draws me to this story, and perhaps makes this my favorite of the bunch is the emotion I can feel as I read every panel. I see their determination to survive, turn into sadness, despair, and hopelessness. Emotions one does not often see from vampires, as they become the victim in this story, instead of the killer.
“Of Wolf and Man”
“Of Wolf and Man” puts a twist on a classic werewolf story by giving the reader the werewolf’s perspective, over the view of the humans fighting him. This shift in perspective also shifted the roles of our characters, making our monster the protagonist, instead of an antagonist. Without saying much more for fear of spoilers, the story ends with a revelation, putting a twist on the classic werewolf story. After reading the story a second time, this revelation became increasingly more apparent. The words and actions of the main character seemed increasingly obvious the second time around, and I wondered how I didn’t catch it at all the first time.
The common theme between each of the stories is a brush with the supernatural. However, some stories leave me with a bit too many questions. For example, the opening comic, “Demeter”, features an unknown force attacking a ship’s crew. It takes the likeness of a woman and takes the lives of the men aboard the boat. I couldn’t figure out what this creature was, though. There is a quote from Bram Stoker’s Dracula at the end of the story.
“I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt; I fear; I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul”.
After reading this quote, I believe the story may be said quote given life, especially considering the story’s aquatic setting. I appreciate it as it adds meaning and background to the story. This quote also makes the story clearer, as maybe I wasn’t supposed to be able to decipher our monster’s identity. However, I am still bewildered trying to relate Demeter, the Greek goddess of agriculture, to the story.
Vampires, werewolves, the supernatural, and biker mummies fill the pages of Shock Value: Legacy. The care put into this book from the writers, artists, and editors is very apparent, making this even more enjoyable to read. Fans of the horror genre won’t regret picking up a copy for themselves.
You can find more from Hellbound Media on their website! What do you think about using new takes on old horror classics? Give us your thoughts about this and Hellbound Media’s new anthology in the comments or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!