Tales From the Darkside #1 (IDW)

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Rating: 4/5 – The TV Show is Back, in Comic Form!
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

I remember watching the Tales From the Darkside TV show when I was younger. The show was created by George Romero and was developed after the success of the Creepshow movie back in 1982. That movie’s success led Romero and producers to want to create a Creepshow television show, but because they couldn’t get all the rights to the names and material, Tales From the Darkside was born. Much like the golden age EC comics from the past, Tales From the Darkside focused on horror and science fiction stories with a surprising twist ending. The show ran for four seasons and had eighty-plus episodes.

Now, collaborators Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez who worked on the successful Locke and Key have brought this property back in comics form. It’s currently an IDW comic because the attempt to bring a new Tales From the Darkside back as a TV show failed to come to fruition after being announced for the CW. Since the show was not green-lit, we’re now seeing Joe Hill’s stories for it in comic book form. This first story is called “Sleepwalker” and is a stand alone tale that, although based on a script by Joe Hill, is adapted to comics by writer Michael Benedetto. Teenager Ziggy, who’s been partying a bit too much during the summer, can’t keep his eyes open during the day at his job as a lifeguard. During one of his naps, unfortunately while on duty, tragedy strikes and although he’s not directly responsible the husband of the victim sues Ziggy for wrongful death.

The more supernatural aspect of the series occurs after Ziggy’s trial.  After the “darkside event” hits, every time Ziggy looks at someone, they instantly fall asleep. It makes for an entertaining and compelling story that probably could have been explored further if they wanted to expand the story past this first issue. Rodriguez’s art is solid throughout, although a bit looser than what we saw in Locke and Key. While the inks and details aren’t as tight  his storytelling is still as strong as ever. This issue keeps tradition with the shows from the past with a surprising yet depressing ending.

Next issue starts a two-part story before the final fourth issue releases, so this is a short visit to the Darkside. You don’t have to be a fan of the show to enjoy this first issue, but if you’re a fan of EC or DC horror comics, or even the Tales from the Crypt TV show from years back, then this will appeal to you. Joe Hill is a proven writer both in and out of comics so you can trust that this series will have some surprises in store, and I’ll be back for the rest of this mini-series.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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