Created by Aaron Alexovich and Drew Rausch
Written by Aaron Alexovich
Art by Drew Rausch
Heart Shaped Skull
Release Date: September 19, 2012
Digital Price: $0.99
“So what now, Owen? You’ve got a pool house full of monsters, two frozen policemen on your conscience, and a whole collection of world-changing devices in your bloodstream. What’s your next move?”
Eldritch! #6 is the exciting conclusion to writer Aaron Alexovich’s crazy tale of science versus religion. The entire miniseries has built up to this climactic showdown as the logically-minded Anya Sobczek faces down her fanatical brother Owen in his pool house of worship. Owen revealed to Anya his little secret: he has freaking tentacles strewn throughout his body that give him all sorts of amazing abilities instantly healing wounds and sprouting huge spider legs.
The origin of these tentacles has remained a mystery. They could be magic. They could be aliens. They could be nanobots. They could even be a curse. Or something entirely different. Anya leans more towards the scientific and natural explanations whereas Owen has crafted an entire cult around his newfound capabilities. Owen says he can control the tentacle thingies through spells and incantations; Anya is quick to correct him with “codes.”
The last issue left off right at the beginning of the final showdown in the pool house. Anya crashed Owen’s murderous little cult and tried to talk some sense back into him. That doesn’t end very well for Anya as she finds herself trapped at the center of one of Owen’s bizarre rituals. Anya eventually tries to help Owen control the tentacles, but then the things turn around and start controlling Owen. Can Anya figure out a way to pry Owen from the grasp of the tentacles? Well, read the comic!
This final issue is more action-based than the previous ones, so the quirky dialogue that accented the series is sadly missing here. That’s not a bad thing; an overbearing script would have merely detracted from the ending’s impact. Aaron Alexovich’s story wraps itself up nicely in a fittingly over-the-top conclusion. In my review of Eldritch! #5, I noted that the word bubble placement was confusing at times — I had no problem figuring out who was delivering the words in this issue.
Drew Rausch’s art style is an acquired taste. It’s highly animated, slightly evil, and, frankly, insane, which is to say, the art matches the story almost perfectly. Overall, I enjoyed Rauch’s maniacal art style. A lot of things are going on in the panels; a brief glance hardly does the art any justice. You need to dig in, which relates to my one critique: it’s overly complicated in some action scenes. During some of the most important parts of the exciting conclusion, I was ensnared in a panel trying to decipher the action. More than once I had no clue what was occurring until I moved on to the next page and then went back to review the action.
All the pieces were put in place by the previous issues and Eldritch! #6 nicely ties up the loose ends — well, most of them anyway. The overall body of work is well worth a look for fans of eccentric horror. It’s worth noting that the entire series will be released in a single hardcover edition this Fall. Eldritch! #6 is a satisfying end to a wonderfully crazy, independent comic series. If you’ve been following Eldritch! this far, don’t stop now!