PREVIEW: 'Red Sonja' #9 by Mirka Andolfo and Giuseppe Cafaro

REVIEW: 'The Me You Love in the Dark' #1 by Skottie Young, Jorge Corona, and Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Skottie Young and Jorge Corona are back! A struggling artist seeks inspiration living in a haunted house but will she get more than she bargained for?


THE ME YOU LOVE IN THE DARK #1

Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Jorge Corona, Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: August 4, 2021
Cover Price: $3.99

Writer SKOTTIE YOUNG (I HATE FAIRYLAND, Deadpool, Strange Academy) and artist JORGE CORONA (NO. 1 WITH A BULLET, Super Sons, Feathers) follow up their critically acclaimed series MIDDLEWEST with a brand-new haunting tale. An artist named Ro retreats from the grind of the city to an old house in a small town to find solace and inspiration without realizing the muse within is not what she expected. Fans of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman will enjoy this beautiful, dark, and disturbing story of discovery, love, and terror.

Score:
★★★1/2 (3.5/5)

QUICK REVIEW: 'The Me You Love in the Dark' #1 is a great set-up for the five-issue limited series. It's a very simple story told extremely well by a talented creative team. Skottie Young's story of an uninspired artist renting a haunted house to reenergize her creative juices is a familiar one. A ghost story that feels fresh with a slow build-up but more so because of the wonderful art of Jorge Corona and Jean-Francois Beaulieu. 

I've been a fan of Corona for a long time. 'Feathers' and 'Goners' really showcased his ability to design unique characters that were emotive and empathetic. His composition had a slight Tim Burton-esque aesthetic and his attention to detail was precise. Thick lines and cinematic framing made each scene regardless of importance look fully thought-out and composed. The same goes here. As well as Ro is here as the main protagonist, the focal point really is the haunted house itself. It's the basis for the series and all the secrets hidden behind its wall and it has to look older, darker, even a little menacing to not only give Ro pause but readers too. Architecturally, Corona hits the spot on spooky old houses. Colorist Beaulieu adds richness, character, and depth with bold deep color schemes. 

Young introduces us to Ro and her quick acceptance of renting a haunted house divulges a fearlessness and welcoming approach to the supernatural I'm not sure many would feel moving in. She's unaffected even inviting the ghost to help her with her art. Ro is the only character for the most part and her relatability as a struggling artist makes her an endearing presence. What follows is best left for readers to discover. No spoilers here but it might be what you expect. It's too early to tell if the supernatural elements are benevolent or not. Young doesn't give away much in the first issue. It's merely an appetizer of what's to come. 

'The Me You Love in the Dark' #1 is a beautifully constructed yet familiar story elevated by the richness of the art. It is a quick read with little more than a tease of what to expect in coming issues. The series is off to a soft start leaving readers "in the dark" about how dark this ghost story is going to get. Issue two should reveal more and set up the stakes. Regardless, you can't go wrong with Young and Corona so it's worth hanging on and coming back for more. 

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