Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Danny Luckert and Marie Enger
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: July 12, 2017
Regression is consistently the creepiest comic in my stack, and Regression #3 is the best (worst?) yet, which is impressive considering the gory events of the previous issue. Regression #2 left us on an unexpected cliffhanger, but don’t expect any answers from this Issue. The third installment of this mind-bending nightmare has us questioning Adrian’s reality, and our own, more than ever before.
There is a lot of forward momentum in this Issue. The path of Adrian’s personal evolution and the convergence of his past and present lives is culminating in some terrifying personality shifts. Cullen Bunn is an unabashed genius of the horror genre, so every page of this issue is a new nightmare. I cannot possibly convey how blissfully unsettling this comic is.
There is a lot going on in this comic, and balancing Adrian’s reality, his past life, and flashbacks to some mysterious rituals from the past is a tough task. Bunn manages to keep everything overlapping gin ways that make sense and flow within the context of the plot. Every panel makes a difference, which is a great feat of sequential storytelling.
Danny Luckert’s art continues to be some of the most beautiful, horrible sequential art I have ever seen. (And I read a lot of horror comics). The insects, the gore, the murder — every panel packs a punch and delivers intricate, disturbing detail. Maybe a little too much detail for those faint of heart, but any horror aficionado will be overjoyed.
This issue has some shining artistic moments. The angular, detailed faces and close-up shots depict Adrian’s inner transition. The flashback scenes are gorgeously composed, with frames of insect-filigree on the panels that give the page a dark, gothic feel.
Marie Enger is invaluable to this book. The concept for this book is fantastic, but her color stories bring everything together. The “real world” is composed of muted pastels and unnerving tones — colors that might not normally go together, but convey the unsettling themes.
As the past and present mesh and Adrian battles with the slow seeping of his past life into his current one, the muted grays and bright, contrasting insects and gore are perfectly suited to the slow build of the action. The differentiation between the regular lettering and the shaky balloons and creepy font as Adrian changes helps to keep track of Adrian’s personality shifts, which is a helpful narrative addition to the art.
Regression freaks me out. On a real, visceral level, it unnerves me. As a lifelong fan of horror, this deep, psychological mystery is something that I don’t find often anymore. I don’t want to eat after I read this book, I don’t really want to sleep, but I read it again anyway.
I cannot recommend this book enough, and I cannot wait to see what happens next. I though that I wanted more answers out of this Issue, but there is another disturbing cliffhanger ending and it turns out, I just want more of that suspense. The team on this book is perfect, and this is consistently one of the best horror comics on the rack.
Don’t take it from me, though — read it for yourself. Just make sure to read it with the lights on.
The Verdict: 10/10