Whenever I see the name Cullen Bunn attached to a comic, my interest is immediately piqued. Bunn has gained industry credit with his work on Weird X-Men and his horror work on County of Harrow. On October 5, his latest book, A legacy of Violence, hit your local Mad Cave Studios comic book store. Joined by Andrea Mutti in pencil and color with Russ Wooton in letters, A Legacy of Violence seems like an infallible success.
A legacy of violence dividing the issue between 1966 and 1985. This gives us some background on the main protagonist, Dr. Nick Shaw. Bunn uses the time spent in 1966 to show Dr. Shaw’s past. He stays with his grandparents, who seem to be in a moral dilemma regarding Unit 731. As readers, we don’t yet know what it is, what Bunn will build on in future issues. In 1985, Dr. Shaw grew up and made an impression on his staff at the hospital. Horror is the surprise and the unknown that happens on a whim. Bunn gives us a well-planted seed as Dr. Shaw is attacked by a crazed patient. We want to know all the reasons for this attack. Unit 731 is also reactivated. It is an important piece of the puzzle between the past and the future. Bunn sowed enough seeds of mystery and horror to make this an interesting read with a chilling concept.
Andrea Mutti’s pencils and colors work well for this story. Mutti uses a minimalist approach when it comes to characters. The details on the faces aren’t overly worked and his work looks like an 80s horror comic. For as grim as some of the horror pages seem, Mutti draws the panels from the past to look wholesome. The 1966 part of the story looks like something you would see from a leave it to the beaver episode. Mutti also draws these wholesome pages with a bit of a dark side. There are plenty of shaded and darker images allowing the reader to see that 1966 isn’t as good-natured as it seems.
The colors are also manipulated by Andrea Mutti, and they go hand in hand with her pencils. Mutti’s color palette is clear in the present (1985) and black and white in the past (1966). There’s a lot of blood in the present, and Mutti uses a lighter red that matches the color scheme well. Nothing in the present is too done or too dark. For pages that take place in the past, the black and white coloring is a bit disturbing. It’s supposed to feel safe, but Mutti gives us enough shade and dark panels to make it look like something is wrong.
The letters are made by Russ Wooton. Wooton opens the issue with distorted letter bubbles that indicate a character is in pain. As a sick patient attacks a doctor, Wooton uses sound effects like “SHHHK” when a patient breaks their restraints. Wooton also uses good word placement. When a page is full of action, Wooton places all dialogue above the characters, so they don’t interfere with the image.
A legacy of violence is a fun and scary little book. Honestly, I have no idea where things are going, and that’s a good thing. Cullen Bunn continues his hitting streak with A heritage of Violence. The pencils and art fit the story perfectly and work well with the horror genre. Check A legacy of violence October 5.