I Hate This Place #3 Review

Writer: Kyle Starks

Artist: Artyom Topilin

Colorist: Lee Loughridge

Letterer: Pat Brosseau

Release Date: July 27, 2022

Price: $3.99

Reviewer: Lukke Sweet

If there’s something strange in the neighborhood, who ya gonna call?  That’s right, Dante Howitzer of Haint Happening!  Kyle Starks and Artyom Topilin introduce this third-generation ghost hunter into the cast in the opening pages of I Hate This Place #3.  As Trudy and Gabby look for ways to cleanse the ranch of all the horrors they’ve faced, they decide to call in backup.  After a single night on the ranch, Dante is over-confident and does exactly what he shouldn’t, he enters the forest…

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The Story

With the introduction of Dante Howitzer, Kyle Starks turns up the excitement in I Hate This Place #3.  This issue was a quick read where I couldn’t wait to see what was on the next page.  The pacing of the issue only adds to the list of reasons that Starks is such a phenomenal horror writer.

As for the story, Gabby and Trudy aren’t truly adjusting to the horrors of the ranch, but they are learning to adapt.  With the help of Howitzer, they begin to go on the offensive, rather than listening to the wisdom of Gabby’s aunt. Bolstered by the confidence of their new acquaintance, the trio sets off into the forest to take the fight to the source.  What new horrors will they face as they venture from the safety of the house? And how will they be able to deal with them…?

Starks also includes a small anecdote from the perspective of Howitzer to help solidify his credentials.  This anecdote is a blend of paranormal and psychological horror and helps to remind readers that Starks is not confining himself to a single subgenre within Horror but including many of them and seeing how they interact and combine to create something truly terrifying.

The Art

Artyom Topilin’s art has been steady throughout the series and I Hate This Place #3 is no exception.  The art has been a tremendous addition to the underlying tension and horror present throughout the story.  The line work presents a contrasting mix of clean and gritty which help to solidify the ranch house as a place of safety against the terrors of the night.  Topilin also illustrates horrific scenes to great effect through the visible impact they have on the characters while maintaining a hair-raising creepiness for the readers.  

On colors, Pat Brosseau nailed this issue.  The muted color palette throughout the issue works perfectly to drive home the bleak outlook of the characters, but where the colors truly shine is the flashback story of Dante Howitzer.  The red overlay emphasizes the uncontrollable aspect of the victims and culminates perfectly in the final panel of the flashback.

Final Thoughts

An exhilarating addition to the series, I Hate This Place #3 introduces the newest member of the cast who contrasts nicely with Gabby and Trudy.  This issue moves the story forward in an action-packed way that will have your heart pounding.


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