Review: THE PLOT #1 Will Make You Scared To Go Home Again

“In order to receive...first you must give.”

FIRST IMPRESSION

THE PLOT is a chilling horror story wrapped up in a compelling family drama, perfect for fans of Locke & Key and The Haunting of Hill House.
Writing/Story
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Lettering
- Advertisement -

The Plot #1 is out this September from Vault Comics, and it’s a chilling horror story wrapped up in a compelling family drama, perfect for fans of Locke & Key and The Haunting of Hill House.

When his estranged brother and sister-in-law are murdered, Chase Blaine becomes guardian to his niece McKenzie and nephew Zach. The three move back to the 200-year-old Blaine family house in Cape Augusta, Maine, but something spooky and supernatural awaits them there. The series is by writers Michael Moreci and Tim Daniel, and artist Joshua Hixson, with colors by Jordan Boyd and letters by Jim Campbell. The Plot will be the inaugural title for Nightfall, Vault’s new annual horror imprint. 

Yes, this is another “dysfunctional family moves into an old, haunted mansion in the secluded corners of Maine” story, but there’s a reason this plot structure works so well. It allows creators to tell deep, complex, and – most importantly – uniquely personal stories. The Plot may share some key themes with the aforementioned Lock & Key and Hill House, but still it doesn’t feel like anything you’ve read before.

the plot review vault comics

- Advertisement -

Like most successful horror stories, this is a very character-driven narrative. Daniel and Moreci understand that in order for the scares to be effective, the stakes have to feel real, and for the stakes to feel real, you have to be connected to the players. The Plot is ultimately a story about family, and the Blaine family feels like a family you know. It may even be your family. Their struggles and their conflicts are understandable. They have secrets in their past that they try to bury, things they’re ashamed of. You relate to them as a reader, because whose family doesn’t have secrets, and so when those secrets start crawling out of the woodwork, the dread hits home hard.

If you read Shanghai Red, you know that Josh Hixson is a star on the rise. His art is grim and atmospheric, especially when coupled with Boyd’s soft and muted color palette. This team is a match made in horror heaven. They capture small moments perfectly, like a hand reaching out to pick up the phone and pulling back at the last second. You can feel the tension here; horror lives in these moments. The Blaine family home comes alive through the art. If you ever heard the expression “the setting is a character in itself” and questioned what that means, The Plot is your answer. Every hallway oozes impending doom. Every shadow harbors a devastating secret. Reading this comic is a claustrophobic experience; you feel trapped within this house alongside these characters, unable to escape the terrors that lie within.

the plot review vault comics

And that’s ultimately what The Plot is all about, the things we can’t escape. Our pasts. Our families. The monsters that live in the bog behind our ancestral family homes. It’s about having to face our demons, both literal and figurative, which is about the scariest thing any of us can do. Again, that’s what makes this comic so effective. It’s taking all of those abstract things we’re terrified of in real life and bringing them to life.

Jim Campbell is a letterer at the top of his game here. This is a first issue, so there’s a decent amount of exposition (no worries, Moreci and Daniel never make it feel heavy-handed), but the way Campbell letters the dialogue, you’re able to navigate the monologues and conversations with ease. This comic flies by, which is shocking when you consider all that happens. That’s largely thanks to Campbell’s handiwork. And then there are the horrifying sound effects, which Campbell kindly acknowledged were done by Hixson. Every “KRAK” is bone chilling; every “WHUD” hits with the impact of a brick to the head. Even everyday sounds like a phone ringing or a dog barking seem scarier here.

The Plot is comics’ next great horror masterpiece. It’s clearly a very personal project for all of the creators; you can feel the passion and care put into every panel. You have until this Monday (September 2) to order it at your local comic shop, so get on it!

Save 50% on graphic novels, statues & more!

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Review: SUPERGIRL #34 Crashing Back To Earth In Style

This is a return to form in Supergirl #34 from DC Comics, with a creative team who are comfortable working together. Back to Earth and back to basics.

Frank Miller And The Dark Knight: Together Again

He's currently chronicling the adventures of the Man of Steel in Superman Year One, but it seems Frank Miller's heart will always bring him...

A Dark and Deadly Tale Begins In NOMEN OMEN #1

Nomen Omen #1 is the start of a dark and disturbing series from Image Comics. It's a tale of the supernatural coming after what is their due, and so much more.

G.I. JOE #1 Is a Joe-Tastic Start For New Readers

This Wednesday the action-packed first issue of IDW's newly rebooted G.I. Joe releases, where everyone can be a Joe, even you! The G.I. Joe comic...

Sailing Away With Bat & Cat in BATMAN #78

After the shocker presented in our last issue, few readers may be ready for what we find in Batman #78, out this week from...

Donny Cates Kills Off The Marvel Universe In GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #9 Preview

Guardians of the Galaxy #9 hits your local comic book shop on September 18, but thanks to Marvel Comics, Monkeys Fighting Robots has a...

Lobo’s Kid Snaps In Our Exclusive First Look At TEEN TITANS #34

Teen Titans #34 hits your local comic book store on September 18, but thanks to DC Comics, Monkeys Fighting Robots has an exclusive five-page...

RELICS OF YOUTH #1 Brings The Spirit Of 80’s Adventure Films To Comics

Out September 25th, Vault Comics' new series Relics of Youth #1 oozes themes akin to an 80's adventure film. Unmapped Story Nat Rodrigues is having strange...
Avatar
Anthony Composto - EIC
Editor-in-Chief for Monkeys Fighting Robots. A lifelong fan of Spider-Man and the Mets, Anthony loves an underdog story. He earned his B.A. in English because of his love for words, and his MBA because of his need for cash. He considers comics to be The Great American Art Form, and loves horror movies, indie dramas, action/thrillers, and everything in between.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SPONSORS

If you want your BUSINESS to be part of something bigger than itself, you might be a good fit to partner with Monkeys Fighting Robots.

Review: THE PLOT #1 Will Make You Scared To Go Home Again 3

CONTACT US

Review: THE PLOT #1 Will Make You Scared To Go Home Again 4

Are you a creator looking for a review of your book?
Use the form below to end us a message.

Are you a fan of the website and have a comment, question, or concern? Drop us a line, and we will gladly answer all your questions.

JOIN THE TEAM

Monkeys Fighting Robots is looking for passionate writers to drive the site’s coverage of the comic book industry. Authors will be responsible for a particular niche, providing reviews, opinion and news coverage, while building a reader community using his or her multimedia storytelling skills. The best candidates have solid writing skills, WordPress knowledge, and are engaged on social media. Do you love comic books and have a strong opinion, then we would like to speak with you.

Review: THE PLOT #1 Will Make You Scared To Go Home Again 5

MEET THE TEAM

COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!