Reviewed by Andrew Kasch
Written by Stef Hutchinson
Art by Jeff Zornow
Distributed by Devil’s Due Publishing
Earlier this year, “Halloween: Nightdance” came out of nowhere and stunned damn near everyone. Not only was it a scary and well-realized comic, it showed that Stefan Hutchinson and Devil’s Due know Michael Myers far better than all the movie sequels (and a helluva lot more than Rob Zombie). So it’s no surprise that the two entities have teamed up once more to bring The Shape back in a new mini-series called “Halloween: The First Death of Laurie Strode.”
“Death” attempts to fill the void left between Halloween II and Halloween IV, examining the events that led Laurie Strode to fake her demise and go into hiding (where she finds herself in H20). In the aftermath of the hospital explosion, Laurie attempts to pick up the pieces and the bulk of the first issue explores her paranoia and the loss of her friends on Haddonfield. Of course, Michael Myers wasn’t killed in the blaze and slowly emerges once more to finish the deed which springs Dr Loomis (who completely exploded, yet somewhoe survived with only that ridiculous scar on his cheek) into action mode.
The first issue of “Death” tells a pretty involving story and Hutchinson once again shows how characters and atmosphere fuel the series instead of a body count. The art and paneling is well above average (although not quite as good as in Nightdance) and the writing here is much better than your typical movie licensed comic book. In fact, it might be a little too sophisticated when held up to the terrible movies that it leads in to, and that is also it’s biggest flaw: As a bridge-story, “Death” is forced to respect many of the stupider elements of the sequels.
Still, if you’re a die-hard fan or still can’t get Zombie’s trailer-trash stench off you, “The First Death of Laurie Strode” starts as another serviceable entry in the extended universe and makes you wonder what Hutchinson could do when not bound by the trappings of a franchise.
3 1/2 out of 5