Survival #1 Review

Writer: Sean Lewis
Art: Bryndon Everett
Colors:  Natalie Barahona and Bryndon Everett
Letters:  Ed Dukeshire
Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 3rd, 2023

When a Russian plane crashes near Talkeetna, Alaska, it sets off a horrific chain of events in Survival #1 and brings terror to the small town.  Emma Reed, returning home with friends after a stint in the military, will not only have to deal with the menace the Russian plane has brought, but she’ll have to reconcile her shaky relationship with her father also, a tough-as-nails ex-military officer who makes John Rambo look like Peter Pan.   Who’s more terrifying, the monster on the plane or her take-no-prisoners father?

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Maskerade #1 Review.

The Story

Survival #1 debuts a new five-issue miniseries that Dark Horse promises to be “a combination of Red Dawn and 30 Days of Night”.  Actually, judging by this first issue, it’s going to be much better than that (I never liked either of those films), though there are elements of both here. There are a few truly chilling moments throughout the book.  The opening pages are especially shocking.  This book wastes no time getting to the horror and most of this issue felt like a great lost Stephen King story. I’m not going to go into the surprises that happen throughout, at risk of giving away the shocks (which make the book a gripping read). I can talk about the characters, though, who are quickly and efficiently introduced and wonderfully defined.  By the time you’re halfway through the book, you know who main character Emma Reed is and what makes her tick, as well as her friends and her father Grady.

If this miniseries had come out in the 1980’s and was made into a film, R. Lee Ermey would be perfect as Grady, a no-nonsense ex-military man who’s more comfortable barking out orders and being in combat than he is attending a town festival. Emma Reed, though freckled and baby-faced, is as tough as nails as her father, having dedicated her life to living up to his standards.   In a crisis situation, she reacts through sheer instinct and is as good with a gun as her dad. I thoroughly enjoyed this debut issue and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s ahead.   The book has a deeply creepy atmosphere combined with some great action moments, and Emma Reed and her father are compelling lead characters.

The Art

Bryndon Everett’s art on Survival #1 is a style similar to other great artists like Steve Pugh. Mr. Everett’s art creates the perfect mood for the book and his panel layouts heighten the shocks.  It’s beautiful work throughout.

Final Thoughts

Survival #1 immediately grabs you by the throat and never lets go.  It’s the beginning of a fantastic horror tale that delivers shock after shock combined with a feeling of dread throughout.  The lead characters are interesting and I’m looking forward to the next chapter of the story.  Highly recommended.


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