Where Monsters Lie #1 Review

Story:  Kyle Starks
Art:  Piotr Kowalski
Colors:  Vladimir Popov
Letters:  Joshua Reed
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 1st, 2023

Welcome to Wilmhurst, a gated community in the countryside where every psychotic slasher from your nightmares takes a little R&R in-between murder sprees.  In Where Monsters Lie #1, we’re introduced to the murderous residents of Wilmhurst and get to see them in terrifying action.  It’s a new grindhouse-style horror series with a dash of comedy, and it starts here!

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 Where Monsters Lie #1 Review.

The Story

Where Monsters Lie #1 hits the ground running from page one, putting us right in the center of the Wilmhurst community and its horrors.
After a grisly encounter with a group of unfortunate kids who stumble across the community, we’re introduced to Zel, the matriarch of the community, an elderly woman who’s tough as nails and alternately scolds and takes care of the residents.  She reminded me of a much more serious, violent and worldly version of Granny from “The Beverly Hillbillies”.  Wyatt, her right-hand man, looks hilariously like Bob Ross and acts like him too, with a soft-spoken gentle manner that’s the polar opposite of everyone else around him.  He helps Zel with anything she asks and never complains.
As strange as Zel and Wyatt are, they’re the two most normal people in Wilmhurst.  As for the residents, they include Puzzleman (a Jigsaw-type murderer with a skeletal mask, who likes to set traps for his victims), Richard (a John Wayne Gacy-type who’s a clown with an obsession for flamethrowers), and Daniel Dawson (a 7-foot tall, impossibly strong brute of a man with long dark hair that always covers his face).

What’s so fun about the book is that it makes all those killers you’ve seen in films such as “Friday the 13th”, “Halloween”, etc.. into comic foils.  All of them are terrified of Zel and it’s hilarious watching them interact with her, most of the time seeming like children being scolded by their mother.  And boy does Zel scold them a lot!  In one scene, after Puzzlemaster messes up another killing, she complains “I have skin tags with more sense than that dipsh*t.”    Each of the Wilmhurst residents have unique personalities and I look forward to seeing how they and Wilmhurst are developed more over time. We also spend a little time outside of Wilmhurst and are introduced to the other major player in the book, Special Agent Connor Hayes, who seems to have a connection to at least one of the killers in Wilmhurst.


The Art

Piotr Kowalski’s art on Where Monsters Lie #1 has a rough feel to it that suits the feel of the book. Each of the murderers in Wilmhurst have great visual designs that are twists on characters from slasher films, but different enough to give them their own unique personality and style. Richard the Clown is the most expressive of the bunch, of course, and the always menacing Daniel Dawson seems to loom in the background of every scene, a combination of “Jaws” from the 70’s James Bond films and the stringy-haired ghost girl from “The Ring”.

Final Thoughts

Where Monsters Lie #1 is a great first issue, setting up a wild new horror/comedy series that never shrinks away from a hard R rating of violence and gore.  Anyone who’s a fan of slasher films (and even those people who aren’t) will enjoy it.


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