Friday, June 24, 2011

The Thing Week: The Comic Series

If you’re a horror fan, and more importantly a Thing fanatic, you’ll know that there was a comic book series that was based off of Carpenter’s Thing as well as Campbell’s novella. I haven’t looked too much into these but from what I read, some of the comics follow directly after the events of the Carpenter movie while others seem to take place in another time and place without our hero MacReady. I was unfortunate in having never read the comics and my attempt at locating them was futile. However, the comics are divided into 3 series: The Thing From Another World, The Thing From Another World: Climate of Fear and The Thing from Another World: Eternal Vows and The Thing From Another World: Questionable Research).

I want to briefly show the wonderful cover art that accompanies the comic books.

The Thing From Another World

Climate of Fear

Eternal Vows

Questionable Research

I was lucky to run into somebody via Twitter who has read some of the comics and was nice enough to give me a little review for them. So, here is Zach Dumas’ review of the partial Thing From Another World comic series:

“Dark Horse made a series of comic based on The Thing, with the first comic (of four) released in December of 1993. The series, called The Thing From Another World: Eternal Vows, uses the name of the original yet takes place after the story of the John Carpenter remake. The first comic sets the story and location up. It takes place in Stewart Island in New Zealand, and mainly is based around the Wallace Harbour. However, the first comic in the series unfortunately doesn’t feel like The Thing. We have one attack from a “thing,” which thankfully is gruesome just like Carpenter’s remake. The creature definitely looks like the remake’s creature. The writer, David de Vries, for some reason chose to include a sex scene in both 1 and 2 (which is all I currently have, as they’re hard to find), which just doesn’t suit the story and feel of The Thing.

Thankfully, after the mediocre 1st comic, the 2nd one gets the “Thing” feeling down. We see MacReady a few pages into the comic, getting out of his chopper, and carrying a bag full of weapons. After a disturbing sex scene with two of the “things” (who are in human form, but have tentacles around them), we get back to MacReady testing the blood from a dead man in an alley. Only we found out that he’s human and the police think he killed the man. It’s only after finally convincing them otherwise that they test the blood on MacReady’s suspect. They test his blood as the suspect freaks out and yells. The blood jumps, just like in the movie, and the suspect instantly turns into a gruesome and ugly Thing abomination. MacReady burns him with his flamethrower and kills the Thing, and that’s where the 2nd comic ends.

Unfortunately that’s all I have till I find the other two, but from what I’ve been able to read it seems faithful to the movie. Though it does have some flaws. There’s a sex scene in both comics, which was unnecessary and served no purpose (no nudity, mind you). The art also varies. Some pages looks great, while others look bad. Some of the faces are drawn poorly such as how MacReady looks at the end of the 2nd comic. What I did enjoy is that this takes place after The Thing, and hopefully the other 2 comics explain more about how MacReady got out of Antarctica alive and what happened to his friend. While the first was pretty bad, the second comic had me looking forward to finding out how it all ends. So far, I’d give the first comic a 5 or 6 out of 10 as it just didn’t feel like The Thing. The second comic is a good, solid 8/10 as we see MacReady and we get to see some “thing” fighting and the famous blood test experiment again."

Follow Zach at his Twitter.

It's also important to note that Carpenter himself said that if he were to do a sequel to The Thing, it would be based on the Dark Horse comic books since he was such a fan of them.


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