29th Apr2015

‘The Evil Within’ Graphic Novel Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Ian Edginton | Art by Alex Sanchez, Ed Anderson | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Hardback, 112pp


Officially a prequel to the wildly popular, or at the least very well marketed, computer game The Evil Within, this graphic novel from Titan Books seeks to add a little more depth to that particular world. Is it a world worthy of a cross-platform presence though?

Obviously with it being a prequel, nothing can actually happen that impacts on the game itself, so I am assuming the publisher is hoping that the look of the book draws in fans of such franchises as Resident Evil and Silent Hill. Indeed, much of the character and background design could have easily come straight out of those worlds, with a little dash of Hellraiser and Nightmare on Elm Street for good measure.

The story is a very straightforward and familiar one in the horror genre, as four seemingly unconnected people find themselves thrown together in a mysterious place that seems to be both full of physical deadly traps and obstacles and also contains various manifestations (are they real? psychological?) of their secret fears and guilt hidden in their pasts. As subtlety is not an option with this sort of story, writer Ian Edginton ramps up the horror element to maximum, and throws in a little subplot of mystery. The ending is satisfactory in that it ties up the self contained story here, but provides a lead in of sorts to the game.

Writer Ian Edginton does a good job considering he is very limited in what he can do here. Characterization is kept to a bare minimum so the focus can just be on the characters predicament and how they try to escape from it. The pace is fast and furious, the monsters dark and disturbing, and the setting bleak and dark. All the ingredients a horror fan likes. I would make the point however that it is never quite as horrific or scary as it seems to think it is, and a little dose of humour here and there wouldn’t have gone amiss.

The art throughout, by Alex Sanchez and Ed Anderson respectively, is decent but a little uneven across the whole book. They capture the feel and tone of their subject matter very well, but sometimes the art is just a little too ‘loose’. For me Sanchez does the better job, adding a little extra grit to his art that Anderson is missing.

On balance The Evil Within is a decent effort. Ian Edginton delivers a professional job that hits all the marks it has to, albeit at the expense of anything new and innovative. If the book was designed to make me pick up the game it didn’t really achieve that (though I really must dig out my old Silent Hill games) but it delivered a decent enough diversion that I was more than happy to follow to its conclusion.

**½  2.5/5

The Evil Within is out now from Titan Comics.


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