Halloween is just around the corner, and it seems about right time to get ourselves indulge in some awesome and spooky comic book fun. Here is a list of 10 of the greatest horror comics series, focusing on the horror fiction. While the horror genre has had greater and lesser periods of popularity, it occupies a firm niche in comics as of the 2010s. It has spawned some of the very popular TV shows aswell, such as Preacher, The Walking Dead. So lets get started with the list:
1. 30 DAYS OF NIGHT
30 Days of Night is a three-issue horror comic book miniseries written by Steve Niles, illustrated by Ben Templesmith, and published by American company IDW Publishing in 2002. All three parties co-own the property.
The series takes place in Barrow, Alaska, so far north that during the winter, the sun does not rise for 30 days. In the series, vampires, being vulnerable to sunlight, take advantage of the prolonged darkness to openly kill the townspeople and feed at will.
2. LOCKE AND KEY
Locke & Key is an American comic book series written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez and published by IDW Publishing.
This horror comics plot is presented in chronological order. During the American Revolution, a group of Rebels, hiding beneath the future Keyhouse, discover a portal to another dimension, the plains of Leng filled with demons which can mesmerize and possess any who see or touch them. However, when the demons attempt to enter the real world, they collapse into lumps of “whispering iron”, which young smith Benjamin Locke forges into a variety of magical keys, including the Omega Key, which seals the entrance to the dimension. The magic of the Keyhouse gradually evolves over the years, including a spell which causes occupants to forget about the keys and the magic of the house when they pass their 18th birthday.
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Hellblazer was set in a contemporary world, albeit a world of magic and supernatural conflict behind the scenes. Although issue 14 made a passing reference to superheroes, the horror comics series since developed its own pocket universe in which the supernatural or paranormal did not play a large role in the lives of most ordinary people, and in Earth-threatening circumstances no superhero interventions were shown or hinted at, suggesting that superheroes no longer existed there. However, some DC Comics characters—most notably the fringe supernatural characters such as Zatanna, The Phantom Stranger, Shade, The Changing Man, Dream of the Endless, and Swamp Thing made appearances.
4. BLACK HOLE
Set in the suburbs of Seattle during the mid-1970s, the horror comics follow a group of mostly middle class teenagers who, over the summer, contract a mysterious sexually transmitted disease known as “the Bug” or “the teen plague,” which causes them to develop bizarre unique physical mutations, turning them into social outcasts.
5. THE WALKING DEAD
The Walking Dead is an ongoing black-and-white comic book series created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore. It focuses on Rick Grimes, a deputy who is shot in the line of duty and awakens from a coma in the zombie apocalypse that placed Georgia under quarantine. He finds his wife and son, and meets other survivors, gradually taking on the role of leader among a group and later a community.
A well-meaning demon whose true name is Anung Un Rama (“and upon his brow is set a crown of flame”), Hellboy was summoned from Hell to Earth as an infant demon on December 23, 1944 (given as his birth date by Mike Mignola) by Nazi occultists (spawning his hatred for them). He was discovered by the Allied Forces; amongst them, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, who formed the United States Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD). In time Hellboy grew to be a large, red-skinned man with a tail, horns (which he files off, leaving behind the signature circular stumps on his forehead), cloven hooves for feet, and an oversized right hand made of stone. He has been described as smelling of dry-roasted peanuts. Although a bit gruff, he shows none of the malevolence thought to be intrinsic to demons, and has a strong sense of humor. This is said to be because of his upbringing under Professor Bruttenholm, who raised him as a normal boy.
Nailbiter is an ongoing independent horror comics book series that was created by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson, with art by Henderson. The series is published by Image Comics and its first issue was released on May 7, 2014. As of May 2016 the series has been collected into four volumes.
The series centers around the fictional town of Buckaroo, Oregon, which has produced sixteen of the United States’ worst serial killers. Its most recent creation is Edward Charles Warren, otherwise known as “Nailbiter” due to his predilection for chewing off his victim’s nails and part of their flesh. By the series’s start Warren has been caught by FBI agent Charles Carroll, however Carroll has since gone missing, leaving it up to his friend and NSA agent Nicholas Finch to search for him. Nicholas decides to start his search in Buckaroo, where he begins to question why the small town has produced so many murderers.
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Published by Dark horse comics, Declan Thomas’s body temperature is dropping. He never gets sick, never feels pain. An ex-inmate of an insane asylum that was destroyed in a fire, he has the strange ability to step inside a person’s madness and sometimes cure it. He hopes to one day cure his own, but time is running out, because when his temperature reaches zero . . . it’s over.
9. AMERICAN VAMPIRE
The series imagines vampires as a population made up of many different secret species, and charts moments of vampire evolution and inter-species conflict throughout history. The focus of the series is a new American bloodline of vampires, born in the American West in the late 19th century. The first of this new species is a notorious outlaw named Skinner Sweet, who wakes from death, after being infected, to find he has become a new kind of vampire, something stronger and faster than what came before, impervious to sunlight, with a new set of strengths and weaknesses. The series goes on to track his movements through various decades of American history – along with the movements of his first and only known progeny: Pearl Jones, a young woman working as a struggling actress in the 1920s silent film industry when she is attacked by a coven of European vampires hiding in Hollywood. Sweet saves her (uncharacteristically) by giving her his blood, thereby turning her into an American vampire like him, at which point she seeks revenge on the classic vampires who attacked her in life. The complicated and charged relationship Jones has with Sweet is another focus of the series.
Aliens is a non-canonical comic book series set in the fictional universe of the Alien films. It was first published by Dark Horse Comics in 1988. The stories often feature the company Weyland-Yutani and the United States Colonial Marines. Originally intended as a sequel to James Cameron’s 1986 film Aliens, the first mini-series features the characters of Rebecca “Newt” Jorden and Corporal Dwayne Hicks. Later series also included the further adventures of Ellen Ripley. Horror comics other stories are completely unique to the Alien universe, and are often used to explore other aspects of the species, such as their sociology and biology.