It’s Halloween, so what better time for the new horror comic book Lord Of Gore to come out? Well, there’s Valentine’s Day, but that may just be my take on it because I’m jaded. Anyway, who is the Lord Of Gore, and does this comic live up to its name?
In a parking lot at a horror convention, screenwriter Danny Graves witnesses in terror as one of his friends is run over by a car. Danny is then attacked by a mysterious masked executioner called The Headsman. But wait… isn’t The Headsman just a horror movie character? As we learn through an extended flashback of the convention itself, Danny is the writer of several Lord Of Gore movies, all featuring the character of The Headsman. However, as any writer can agree, he also gets the least credit for his contributions.
While he’s liked by most cast members, the workings of the horror film movie business are even more cut-throat than the films themselves. The succession of actors playing The Headsman have met with mixed fortunes and popularity, whilst the producer is keen to screw over everyone in order to make a quick buck and to keep his casting couch warm. Danny himself is on the chopping block in terms of getting fired, but when Noah meets him in secret to give him a safety deposit box key, the horror of the movies comes to life…
It’s hard coming up with iconic horror characters. For every Freddy, Jason or Micheal Myers, there’s a Doctor Giggles, a Pumpkinhead and a Leprechaun. So it’s a little hard to know how seriously we should be taking The Huntsman at this early stage. Sure, he lives up to his name in providing some gore, but so far he isn’t really all that scary. Of course, the real mystery here is the identity of The Headsman anyway, and at least there’s some creativity on display.
Likewise, DB Stanley and Daniel Leister deserve credit for setting this within the world of horror films. There are plenty of references, especially the take on the various actors to have played The Headsman, something fans of Kane Hodder and other iconic horror actors may understand. The nature of exploitation in the horror movie industry is succinctly covered, and there are a fair few knowing winks to the reader. If you’re a fan of the genre, you’ll get it completely.
Sadly, the story itself doesn’t quite hit its stride properly. Danny Graves may be the protagonaist, but there’s little reason to like him, even if we sympathise with his plight. Too many characters and names are thrown at the reader without clear explanation too, although hopefully that should work itself out in time. The whole issue moves at such a fast pace that there really isn’t enough time to take it all in.
So far this is more like Scream 3 as opposed to Evil Dead II or the original Saw: A little gore and mystery, but it’s nowhere near a blood-flood yet.