The Autumnal #1 Review

The Autumnal #1 is a comic book published by Vault Comics. Written by NYT bestselling author Daniel Kraus (The Shape of Water, Trollhunters), art by Chris Shehan, colors by Jason Wordie and letters by Jim Campbell

In THE AUTUMNAL, is part of the NIGHTFALL Line, Vault‘s annual fall horror imprint. Every year as the weather turns brisk and autumn sets in, NIGHTFALL comes. As Vault continues its usual line, select new series introduced from September to December will bear the NIGHTFALL icon, promising genuine horror. Following the death of her estranged mother, Kat Somerville and her daughter, Sybil, flee a difficult life in Chicago for the quaint–and possibly pernicious–town of Comfort Notch, New Hampshire.

In this series premiere from Vault Comics NIGHTFALL line we catch up with Kat as her life is in a state of imbalance and disarray. At this very moment the death of Kat’s mother starts a series of events that take Kat and her daughter Sybil back home. The small town setting, along with the familiar story of having to go back to your roots set up the mystery in this issue. We find Kat and Sybil’s lives to be complicated and full of challenges. Each other is all they really have, and they have to take the chance to make this trip. 

Chris Sheran brings this world to life as their art sets up the eerie slow burn of this story. The detailed facial expressions in the story fill the panels with the feelings of the protagonist. The backgrounds are filled with details about Kat and Sybil that inform the reader about their personalities. Wordie’s color palette is cool and muted initially and as the setting changes to the town of comfort Notch where the colors explode with lush vibrant autumn tones. Furthermore the panel work is very distinct, although mainly shaped like normal rectangular panels, the borders bleed into the story as conflict escalates and they provide a sense of uneasy and raise the tension. 

Something is amiss in this small town and this first issue sets up the mystery of Autumn in the town of Comfort Notch. The future of Kat and Sybil remains a mystery. The book addresses personal trauma in the context of a horror story. The characters are likeable, approachable and sympathetic. All of these elements make this a very entertaining and engaging read.     

The Autumnal #1 Variant cover

THE AUTUMNAL #1 hits store shelves on September 23, 2020, and will launch with two variant covers, both by Nathan Gooden and Tim Daniel. Sold wherever comic books are found

Rating 4.5/5

Written by Daniel co-host of the Next Issue Podcast
@eckospider on Twitter. 
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