Comics: Pumpkinhead #1 - Reviewed

Dynamite Entertainment will be resurrecting '80s cult classic vengeance demon, Pumpkinhead, with their limited series, the first of which will be available February 21, 2018. This story follows a backwoods crime family as they strive to protect one of their own from the demented creature after it has been resurrected from a 30 year sleep to wreak vengeance on a man who killed two children in a hit and run accident. 

The tale itself is morbid and creepy, steeped in a world of supernatural and the occult. Writer Cullen Bunn has written an excellent, dialogue heavy script which works perfectly for a first issue. He does a good job of setting up the premise of this story, giving you a backstory and adding in disturbing details to further intensify the horror that is going to be weaved with this series. I love the fact that Bunn shied away from the idea of making this piece ultra-modern and ended up instead sticking with the source material. Pumpkinhead issue one absolutely has an over the top '80s cult horror feel to it which certainly works and I think readers are going to be elated to discover that it’s been made with the original in mind. It’s spooky, it’s disturbing and at parts completely disgusting, which really is exactly what I think the fan base will be looking for. 

The art is done by Blacky Shepherd and just further creates a tale of disconcertment and gruesomeness. There are really no characters that do not have a sinister look to them, one way or the other which lends to a feeling of constant uneasiness and horror. There is a kind of thin, frenzied line art quality to his work that makes the work appear quite mysterious, regardless of the scene it is showing at the time. As far as scenes go, I would have to say my favorite pages are ones that are gruesome, macabre and full of twisted details. There are several extra haunting scenes, and the close of this particular issue is downright chilling. Though I do wish that the art had followed the '80s style writing and premise a bit more, it still works for creating a very visually compelling horror story. 

I really appreciate Pumpkinhead #1 for what it is, a gritty, demented horror story complete with the deranged backwoods hillbillies and a tale that gives readers what they want: a cult classic retold. Though it doesn’t seem to be particularly psychological or deep, there is something fantastic about the way it captures the '80s vibe without feeling forced or inauthentic. I think fans of the movie will be absolutely thrilled to get a copy of this one on their hands and I think it can definitely make a new generation of horror fans really happy. 

-Rachel Rutherford