There is a wealth of horror comics available out there. Mike Mignola’s Hellboy and BPRD are good examples of using horror and classic pulp themes to great effect. Some of the Alien comics have actually done a good job of expressing the gothic terror of the first film. There are also adaptations of The Strain, Silent Hill, and H.P. Lovecraft stories to keep you busy for quite a while.
There are a plethora of horror comics available to fans in today’s market, but I’m here to discuss three specific books: one from IDW, one from DC Comics, and one from Marvel comics.
I’ll start with IDW’s Locke & Key. This series is written by Joe Hill (author of Horns and Heart-Shaped Box). It is beautifully illustrated and leaves you feeling uneasy as you continue to read the horrors that is unfolding within the New England mansion known as Keyhouse. You can click on the cover below to pick up a copy and read on for recommendations from the big two publishers.
DC Comics has always enjoyed a healthy alternative reality approach with their Elseworlds line, where they take established characters and place them in strange new settings. Starting in 1991, DC Comics took Batman, the Dark Knight, and pitted him against another creature of the night: Dracula. The first book in the series Batman: Red Rain showed a Batman outside of his depths with a truly supernatural foe. Two more books followed, dealing with a Batman who was transformed by his encounter with the vampire. You get to see a vampire Batman. This book is a great combination of the gothic superhero and gothic horror story. The Batman of this series is a great example of good writing in comics and how the Elseworlds titles could be used to explore the true humanity of these superhuman characters. You can click on the image below to purchase a collected edition featuring all three books. Below is the final recommendation.
In the early 2010s, Marvel published three books set in an apocalyptic world. This was not the Marvel Zombies universe, but instead, we were shown a timeline where a virus had swept through civilization affecting superhuman and regular human alike. It led to hyper-violent behavior and cannibalistic qualities. Rather than the zombies, we were treated to heroes reverted to a near primal state. As you can imagine, the scientists of this universe worked to find a cure, only to have the primal heroes call them wizards and want to stop them. This book deals with three different heroes during different times of the world. It is definitely worth reading to watch these heroes in their darkest hours, having to do unthinkable things to their former partners. Captain America specifically has the most poignant moment of the series. To get this entire series, you’ll need to purchase the three books listed below: Marvel Universe vs The Avengers, Marvel Universe vs Wolverine, & Marvel Universe vs The Punisher.
And just in case any of you were interested, here’s the link to Mike Mignola’s page on Amazon, where you can find access to his large library of horror-themed comics. Also, if you were hoping for The Walking Dead, you can click on the cover below to pick up the first collected edition.