DC can do horror? (DC House Of Horror One Shot Comic Review)

DC House of Horror

Bump in the Night – A Superman Story

Written By: Edward Lee

Art By: Howard Porter

Colors By: Hi-Fi

 

Nothing could turn the Man of Steel against his mother, right?

 

What You Need to Know

A strange craft crashes near the Kent farm in Smallville.  There is something…unnatural in that craft, infecting everything it comes in contact with, including Superman.

 

What You’ll Find Out

Even Superman can’t defeat every foe.  Whatever is in the crashed ship spells doom for Martha Kent.

 

What Just Happened

A well-written story crafted by Edward Lee is brought to life by Howard Porter showing the darker side of space exploration.

 

Rating: 9/10

 

Final Thoughts

This is a really great short story that uses elements of horror to create terrifying version of a normally incorruptible beacon of hope.

 

Man’s World – A Wonder Woman Story

Written By: Mary SanGiovanni

Art By: Bilquis Evely

Colors By: Mat Lopes

 

Who wouldn’t want to have the power of an Amazonian?

 

What You Need to Know

Playing around with an Oujia Board is never a good idea.  There’s really not much more to it than that.

 

What You’ll Find Out

Ouija boards don’t only affect you when you use them; they’ll make you see yourself in a whole new way.

 

What Just Happened

Mary SanGiovanni shows us what happens when you screw around with forces you cannot comprehend or control.

 

Rating: 9/10

 

Final Thoughts

I loved this story.  The young lady who is the focus of the story uses her newfound abilities to exact revenge.  Or maybe the power that possesses her just makes her believe that was what happened.  I think it’s up to each reader to decide.

 

 

Crazy for You – A Harley Quinn Story

Written By: Bryan Smith & Brian Keene

Art, Colors and Letters By: Kyle Baker

 

Only sane men question their sanity…right?

 

What You Need to Know

A construction crew demolishing Arkham Asylum may have dug a little too deep.

 

What You’ll Find Out

Harley Quinn can make quite an impression even when she isn’t there.

 

What Just Happened

A killing spree ensues after an overworked, overstressed construction worker has to clean up after another employee, leading to a series of events that may or may not have happened the way he remembers them…when he can remember what happened.

 

Rating: 8/10

 

Final Thoughts

A very interesting look at the human psyche being affected by its surrounding environment.  Like most of the stories in this collection, this one lends itself to interpretation by the reader.

 

 

Last Laugh – A Batman Story

Written By: Nick Cutter

Art By: Rags Morales

Colors By: Lovern Kindzierski

 

Batman and the Joker, two inseparable sides of the same coin.

 

What You Need to Know

Batman prepares for a final confrontation with the Joker.

 

What You’ll Find Out

The Joker has made an indelible impact on not only the Batman’s psyche, but also Bruce Wayne’s as well.  Every significant event in his life has revolved around the Joker in one way or another.

 

What Just Happened

Batman/Bruce Wayne finally figures out what he needs to do in order to defeat the Joker once and for all, to end his reign of terror on the people of Gotham City.

 

Rating: 9.5/10

 

Final Thoughts

A new look at the dynamic between two of the most iconic characters of all time.  This was a great story, showing that there are two sides to every story, and giving a great explanation as to why the Joker always seemed to elude Batman’s ultimate justice.

 

 

Blackest Day – A Justice League Story

Written By: Brian Keene

Art By: Scot Kolins

Colors By: Romulo Fajardo, Jr.

 

Brian Keene knows better than anyone how to write an undead plague story.

 

What You Need to Know

Even the Flash has to stand still sometimes, and as usual his timing is terrible.  At least this time it wasn’t time travel that doomed everyone.

 

What You’ll Find Out

The Justice League does everything as a team, including rise from the dead to feast upon the flesh of the living.

 

What Just Happened

After the Flash is bitten by a random woman on the street he returned to the Watchtower for help.  Unwittingly, and in typical Flash fashion (doing something with the best of intentions) he was the one who led mankind down the path to extinction.

 

Rating: 9.5/10

 

Final Thoughts

This was a story on par with what Keene usually writes, and I loved it.  The last line of the story was concurrently chilling, terrifying and awe-inspiring because of how utterly great it was.

 

 

Stray Arrow – A Green Arrow Story

Written By: Ronald Malfi

Art By: Dale Eaglesham

Colors By: Jordan Boyd

 

Not everyone is a victim.  Not everyone needs help.

 

What You Need to Know

Oliver Queen is a vigilante, and he does what he has to in the name of justice.

 

What You’ll Find Out

Not everyone he saves was actually in need of rescue.

 

What Just Happened

Oliver Queen learns what it means to be on the receiving end of a vigilante’s wrath.  Everything he worked for falls in the blink of an eye because he didn’t understand what it truly meant to be a victim in need of aid.

 

Rating: 7.5/10

 

Final Thoughts

This story provided a good twist on the typical vigilante tale.  I especially liked to open-ended cliffhanger that concluded this story.

 

Unmasked – A Two-Face Story

Written By: Wrath James White

Art By: Tom Raney

Colors By: Gina Going-Raney

 

Are masks what we wear to hide our identity, or are they our true selves?

 

What You Need to Know

There is a murderer removing people’s faces and leaving notes taunting the police.

 

What You’ll Find Out

The killer lures the District Attorney into unmasking himself.

 

What Just Happened

Eventually, Harvey Dent realizes who the true killer is, and he doesn’t seem at all surprised by the reveal.

 

Rating: 8/10

 

Final Thoughts

I liked this story, it was very true to the character.  I especially liked the fact that the artist did not shy away from showing the true horror of the killer’s acts.

 

The Possession of Billy Batson – A Shazam! Story

Written By: Weston Osche

Art By: Howard Chaykin

Colors By: Wil Quintana

 

If you know you’re crazy, can you really be that crazy?

 

What You Need to Know

Billy Batson is worried about the fragility of his mind, and when he meets someone he thinks is worse off than he is, Batson thinks things might be looking up, if only just a little bit.

 

What You’ll Find Out

A chance encounter drives Billy Batson to experience both visual and auditory hallucinations.  He believes he keeps seeing a word everywhere, a word given to him by a crazy old man in a subway tunnel on a scrap of paper.  He hears the old man imploring him to say the word.

 

What Just Happened

Billy Batson only wants to be left alone, and to keep those he cares about (in this case his girlfriend Laura), but he can’t get the incessant drone of the old man out of his head.  Begging, pleading, haunting him until he says the word.  Billy knows he shouldn’t, knows that once he says it, nothing will be the same.

 

Rating: 8.5/10

 

Final Thoughts

I thought this was a really excellent take on the story of how Billy Batson got his powers.  I liked the way that Batson was still portrayed as a good person deep down, and only wavers on his decision because he isn’t sure what will happen to him if he says the word.

 

All in all, this whole collection was great.  I’ve been a big fan of Brian Keene for quite some time already and I’ve read several of his books.  Mary SanGiovanni is a voice in horror that more people need to know, and this is a great way to get her out into a new audience that might not be familiar with her work.  Edward Lee, Weston Osche, Wrath James White, Bryan Smith, Nick Cutter, and Ronald Malfi are names that I’m not totally familiar with, but after seeing how they handle some of my favorite characters I definitely will be checking out their work and I encourage you to do the same!

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