Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Gavin Fullerton
Colours by: Chris O’Halloran
Letters by: Tom Napolitano
Edited by: Greg Lockard
Design by: Dylan Todd

Around the BTC offices I’m usually the resident “Horror Guy” so the majority of the time I’m the first to check out any new horror book Image has to offer. On this occasion that book is The Closet, the story of a family preparing to move to a new home and a new city in the hopes of leaving their troubles behind.

The first part of this issue is dedicated to Thom, the kind of great guy who stops off at a bar for three beers when he’s meant to be out getting more tape to help finish packing, the kind of guy who talks about how all his problems will be solved when his family has moved to a new place. Thom’s moving to Portland with his wife Maggie and son Jamie, the latter is terrified of the monster in his closet. Though Thom’s convinced that, like everything else, that won’t be a problem once they’re in their new apartment, miles away from the closet Jamie’s so afraid of.

This is usually the point where I’d say something like “I don’t want to give too much away”…but in this first issue of The Closet there really isn’t much to actually give away. As I’ve mentioned, the first third of the issue is dedicated to Thom talking through his problems with a friendly bartender. The remaining part of the issue gives us a glimpse into the family dynamic and just what Jamie is so scared of.

Gavin Fullerton’s art throughout the issue is great, creepy in the moments when it needs to be, though for the most this issue it is more dark and subdued in tone than it is flat out horror. Fullerton’s art work is reminiscent of Tyler Boss’ style, which is a huge positive as I’m a big fan of Boss’ art.

For a current horror book at Image it’s not surprising that Chris O’Halloran is taking on colouring duties here, and as always he does a great job of setting the mood. There’s a gloomy atmosphere to the story being told even before we reach the possibility that there might actually be a monster in Jamie’s closet and O’Halloran’s colouring contributes to that feeling in a massive way. There’s no shortage of shadow throughout this issue and that helps draw the focus to the muted colours used.

As a first instalment of a new series The Closet isn’t giving much away, and as the series is solicited to only be three issues I’m curious as to how the next two instalments are going to unfold. James Tynion IV is good at what he does, but I have my doubts about how much narrative can be told in so few issues with the pace that’s established here.

I’m usually the Bigger Than Capes horror guy, and on this occasion I’ll admit this issue is a little light on the horror side. However, the horror we do get will send shivers up your spine, while the familial story being told is loaded with believable melancholy.

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