Anytime I see the name Cullen Bunn attached to a comic book, my interest is immediately piqued. Bunn has earned credit in the industry with his work on Uncanny X-Men and his horror work on Harrow County. On October 5, his newest book, A Legacy of Violence, hits your local comic book store from Mad Cave Studios. Joined by Andrea Mutti on pencils and colors with Russ Wooton on letters, A Legacy of Violence seems like a sure-fire hit.
A Legacy of Violence split the issue between 1966 and 1985. This gives us some background on the main protagonist, Dr. Nick Shaw. Bunn uses the time spent in 1966 to show Dr. Shaw’s past. He is staying with his grandparents, who seem to be in some moral dilemma regarding unit 731. As a reader, we don’t know what that is yet, which is something Bunn will build on in future issues. In 1985, Dr. Shaw is grown up and made an impression on his staff at the hospital. Horror is about surprise and the unknown happening on a whim. Bunn gives us a well-planted seed as Dr. Shaw is attacked by a crazed patient. We want to know all the reasons for this attack. Unit 731 gets brought up again as well. This is an important piece of the puzzle between the past and the future. Bunn has planted enough mystery and horror seeds to make this an interesting read with a spooky concept.
The pencils and colors by Andrea Mutti work well for this story. Mutti uses a minimalist approach when it comes to characters. The detail on faces is not overly done, and his work feels like an 80’s horror comic. For as sinister as some of the horror pages look, Mutti draws the panels from the past to look wholesome. The 1966 part of the story resembles something you would see from a Leave It To Beaver episode. Mutti does draw these wholesome pages with a bit of a dark side as well. There is a lot of shading and darker images allowing the reader to see that 1966 is not as good-natured as it seems to be.
The colors are also handled by Andrea Mutti, and they go hand in hand with his pencils. Mutti’s color palette is light in the present (1985) and black and white in the past (1966). There is a lot of blood in the present, and Mutti uses a lighter red that fits well with the color scheme. Nothing in the present is overly done or too dark. For the pages that take place in the past, the black and white coloring is a little unsettling. It’s supposed to feel safe, but Mutti gives us enough shade and dark panels to make it feel like something is off.
The letters are done by Russ Wooton. Wooton opens up the issue with some distorted letter bubbles that indicate a character is in pain. As an ill patient attacks a doctor, Wooton uses sound effects like “SHHHK” as a patient breaks his restraints. Wooton also utilizes good word placement. When a page is full of action, Wooton places all dialogue above the characters, so it doesn’t interfere with the image.
A Legacy Of Violence is a fun and creepy little book. I honestly have no idea where things will go, and that’s a good thing. Cullen Bunn continues his hit streak with A Legacy of Violence. The pencils and art completely fit the story and work well with the horror genre. Check out A Legacy Of Violence on October 5.