When you think of IDW or Idea and Design Works...what comes to mind? Well if you're anything like me your answer is probably nothing. Nothing comes to mind. I honestly just looked up what IDW stood for before writing this paragraph. That being said, IDW is a publishing company here in the U.S, that MUCH to my surprise is recognized as the fifth LARGEST comic book publisher there in. So "wow" to that. I bring all this up as a backdrop to the review of The October Faction #1 written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Damien Worm. What made me pick up this comic was the boldness of it's cover work. Both cover A & B. I opted with A as this doesn't strike me as the kind of run that's worth picking up the variant. However, it did strike me as worth picking up. So let's get to the meat and potatoes and talk about how worth it was to grab this first issue.
So from the looks of it, Worm not only draws but colors this issue too and it's the coloring that truly pops and brings you into the world of the October Family. A secret organization that specializes in the hunting of things that go bump in the night. I couldn't help but immediately draw similarities to Supernatural as the October's hunt also seems to be a family affair. Now this dook doesn't pop with colors, however, it uses blacks and negative space really well. It's easy to lose details and have a shitty panels when you go so bold with your "dark theme", however Worm hits the mark of practically every panel. Like when the kids summon the demon, there is a beautiful teal to aquamarine glow that compliments the black of the suit the demon is wearing...also the demon is wearing a suit. Just nuts. I was pretty surprised at how fun this book was to look at; and needless to say Worm's style compliments Niles' story to a tee. A story which for the first issue does a great job of telling you who the characters are and what they're about with out using an overabundance of exposition. One guy has cancer and needs to stay in Werewolf form, there's a son, a daughter, a father, and a mother. Dad's in retirement. This issue is written with some straight to the point stuff that some DC titles could surely benefit from.
Well for all the good in The October Faction, there is a lot of bad. Let's start with paneling. The whole issue looks like a jumbled mess. So panels are larger than others, there is a lot of unnecessary overlapping.panels that do nothing more than confuse the flow and clutter the page. Then we have the curious case of the mismatching face. A lot of the faces don't match the severity of the dialogue. At one point two characters are talking about cancer, yet they look as though they're making brunch plans. Which brings us back to writing. Niles seems to write a story here that gets straight to the point, however, it's a little TOO MUCH to the point. These kids summoned this demon with a ouija board. How? Demon appears. Why? Then he proceeds to kill them with no discernable explanation other than he said he hates teenagers. There's just a lot of sloppy writing being done with the advancement of the story in mind and though it's got a solid foundation there are some pretty massive cracks.
All that being said, when that demon ripped that girls head off I was flabbergasted. Mostly for the reason I highlighted above as it escalated so doan quickly. It was a pretty epic moment.
All and all I'm not disappointed I spent nearly 5 dollars on this issue. It's a fun read even if it does have some gaps. Like whos the kid in the helmet? Who were there other people with the brother and sister at the end? I know Fred, Lucas, and Geoff (by name only). What is everyone else's name. I get that this is a first issue, but give me more meat. And if there is another run or series with the October Family in it, you've still gotta ease new readers into this new world. Hopefully I can remember to pick up issue two, because though I'm not excited to read it, I'd still like to see where their journey takes me. However, Niles has only sparked a very dull curiosity in me, I'd still recommend fans of the the indie scene pick this one up.