“Passage” is one of the main horror stories of the year (review)

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Attention: spoilers to The Passageway are possible ahead!

The Passageway, a disturbing new graphic novel from Image Comics, grandiosely and alarmingly opens The Bone Orchard Mythos. The Bone Orchard Mythos is a shared horror—themed universe, the brainchild of writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino, which in the coming years will be presented in a series of original graphic novels and mini-series. After a pre-release on Free Comics Day, The Bone Orchard Mythos will stylishly debut with The Passageway, a 98-page original graphic novel by Lemire and Sorrentino; it will go on sale in print and digital form on June 15.

Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino first worked on “Green Arrow” in the era of The New 52, bringing to it a harsh aesthetic reminiscent of the classic Mike Grell race. The two came together again for the creator of Gideon Falls, a mind-blowing and award-winning horror comic, which they followed with the sci-fi title Primordial. Lemire, who is now an Image Comics exclusive, reunited with Sorrentino to create a new shared universe called The Bone Orchard Mythos. The first sentence of this new horror universe, The Passageway, evokes the same menacing fear as Gideon Falls, teleporting readers to a mysterious island with a dark secret.

Geologist John Reed arrives on a remote island off the coast of Canada, sent to investigate a large gaping hole near a lighthouse. The island is harsh, and its only inhabitant, Sally, is hiding something; she knows more about the hole than she lets on. Soon, haunted by terrifying visions, Reed deepens his investigation, plunging into a downward spiral of horror. As the tension in his relationship with Sally grows, Reed learns about the ancient evil at the bottom of the pit, about what is stirring, ready to descend on the unsuspecting world.

Since their first collaboration almost a decade ago, Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino have impressed the public with books such as Gideon Falls, and fans of this title will find a lot of interesting things in The Passage. Gideon Falls perfectly combines horror themes with deeply personal storytelling, and “The Passage” enhances this by creating a story about quietly creating a threat that works to unnerve the reader. The Passageway is Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino shooting to the fullest, doing their best to launch The Bone Orchard Mythos.

Lemire’s letters are as sparse as ever, giving readers enough information to keep them intrigued while maintaining a characteristic understanding of human weakness. Sorrentino’s art remains on the shelves like nothing else, with a stunning mastery of shadows and hidden details while maintaining a clarity that only makes horror feel more attached to the real world. Combined with Dave Stewart’s muted colors, Sorrentino’s painterly style, and carefully crafted page composition, it becomes obvious why any horror fan who ignores comics is missing out on some of the genre’s best stories. The previous project “Gideon Falls” — one of the darkest comics of all time — explored the idea of disturbing truths manifested in everyday life, and Sorrentino’s art is unparalleled in conveying the creeping horror of a seemingly solid world that can deform under your feet.

The passage gives small hints of what the future holds for The Bone Orchard Mythos. but it meets the basic criterion of being an exciting story in itself. Judging by the Passage, Lemire, Sorrentino and Image Comics have created one of the most important books of 2022, and there are many more to come.