Havoc 21 #3

Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2005
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Havoc 21 #3 Writer(s): Eugene J. Byrne
Artist(s): various
Publishers: Wolfman Productions Ireland (Self Published)
From: Ireland
Price: £3

This Irish anthology contains two stand -alone stories united in their relentless trail of blood and gore. The cover is a real stunner. Three sultry looking girls with guns and tats. Kind of a Charmed look going on here. That is where the Charmed analogy ends though as these three girls who feature in the first story, Darkness Wild are just pure evil.

In fact the word 'evil' works well for both the stories featured in this edition. Both are modern tales of horror. There isn’t a single likeable character anywhere in sight, in fact what we have here is a collection of crazed characters existing on the fringes of society /reality who carry out more than their fair share of murder and mayhem.

Darkness Wild centres around a hitchhiker picked up by three man eating girls. Most of the story is concerned with them trying to kill him and him trying to kill them. There are knives and guns, lots of blood and a fair old dollop of offensive language. Throw in some fangs and the odd decapitation and it is obvious that this is not a tale for the squeamish. The heavy use of black that dominates the art work is therefore entirely appropriate. The art is modern and similar in many respects to a number of other contemporary British comic creators. That is, it is bold and striking, concentrating on character and action rather than background and detail.

For me it just explodes too quickly and too violently. It is intense, but I felt that I hadn’t been immersed in the story and characters enough to be effected.

The second story, From the Darkness, does take more time to develop the personality of the main character, a homeless vagrant shunned by society. Pretty soon though we are taking off on another gore fest of murder, death and revenge as the dead rise and satanic beasts emerge from out of the shadows.

There is no pretence or subtlety in Havoc 21, it is what it is. Roald Dahl gone mental. It is in your face and proud of it. So if you want to walk on the evil side of life but not get your hands dirty then hunt down a copy of Havoc 21 [before a copy hunts down you].

In a Word: Gory.

If you have a comment or question about Small Press then feel free to contact me