Sever the Nerves

Severed #1

If you’re like more and more comics readers, you probably think Scott Snyder is pretty ginchy. He’s got a new horror series out now, created with Scott Tuft as co-writer, and art by Attila Futaki.

The story is set in 1916, as young Jack Garron prepares to leave his home for music school. Something weird’s going on with him, though — he jokes around with his mom about becoming a hobo, proudly shows off his new school uniform, talks about his hopes for success at the new school — and then he sneaks out of the house in the middle of the night to actually hitch a ride on a boxcar in hopes of meeting his adoptive father and performing with him. Of course, things don’t go well for him — a railroad cop steals everything he has and throws him off the train, leaving him relying on a bunch of tramps.

But the real danger is taking place not too far away — an orphan named Frederick is offered an apprenticeship with an electrician named Mr. Porter who works for General Electric. Porter is friendly but very, very weird. He tells about working for actress Mary Pickford, makes morbid jokes about his teeth, shows the Frederick the basics of working with electricity, and sends him into a deserted “trainer house” to learn how to hook up the power to a fusebox. But you know what happens down in dark, deserted basements, right?

Verdict: Thumbs up. So far, it’s very early in the story, but what we do have is a nice creepy beginning, and that’s probably enough for now.

Robert Bloch’s That Hellbound Train #3

Martin’s affair with his secretary — a woman who secretly works for the diabolical Conductor in exchange for youth and beauty — leads to more trouble. His wife suspects and hires a private detective to shadow them. When his secret is uncovered, his wife divorces him, his boss fires him, and his whole life plunges straight downhill. And to top it all off, he falls in a river and dies very briefly before he’s revived. So now the Hellbound Train has come to collect him, and it’s too late to unwind the magic watch that’ll allow him to live forever. Or is it?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A faithful recreation of Bloch’s old story, along with plenty of great, creepy art.

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