Writer: W. Maxwell Prince
Art: Martin Morazzo and Chris O’Halloran
Letters: Good Old Neon
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: May 25th, 2022
Ice Cream Man #30 continues this series, which is a combination of “The Twilight Zone” and “Heavy Metal”, with another chilling story. This issue focuses on two test subjects for a new hallucinogenic drug, and the insanity that ensues with them.
Ice Cream Man’s stories, like “The Twilight Zone” show, vary in quality, but they’re never less than interesting. The story in Ice Cream Man #30 isn’t a knockout, but it is a slow burn tale of two test subjects named Kenneth Molloy and Malhar Naik.
Kenneth is the typical smarmy millennial, who seems to cruise through life and never encountered a job or discomfort he couldn’t avoid. He always seems cheerful, the last person in the world who’d need the hallucinogenic drug being tested.
Malhar is an enigma. He talks very little, and when he does say things, it’s like he’s quoting an episode of “Law & Order”. In one scene, when the Doctor running the testing asks him how he’s feeling, Malhar responds “No questions at this time, your honor”.
Over the course of the story, both men experience increasingly more bizarre and terrifying hallucinations. This is where the story really gets bone-chilling, as both men see a giant spider-like creature in their rooms that has more creatures birthing inside it. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night and hanging from the ceiling in your bedroom is a man-sized squishy half-human half-spider behemoth.
There are a couple of twists throughout the story, and the Doctor seems to have his own agenda, beyond just basic testing of the hallucinogenic. The nurse also seems shady.
All the secrets are revealed at the end, in a climax involving a copious amount of blood and a chilling final fate for one of the characters.
Martin Morazzo and Chris O’Halloran’s art on Ice Cream Man #30 continues their trend of amplifying the story with creepy visuals.
Their art is like the after-effect of two hours of drinking Red Bulls in a cemetery, unnerving, jittery, and creepy. The characters’ expressions always seem locked in a hyper emotive state and the creatures are drawn in a slimy surreal fashion. You’ll never see creatures like these anywhere else and they’re always chilling. Their art works particularly well with this issue, because it heightens the feelings of paranoia and isolation the two main characters are feeling.
Ice Cream Man #30 is a tale of science gone wrong, paranoia, and the creatures that lurk within our subconscious. It’s not the best story this series has presented, but it’s still a creepy little story that harkens back to the EC Horror Comics of years ago.