cover image Out Beyond the Dust N’ Dark (West of Sundown # 1)

Out Beyond the Dust N’ Dark (West of Sundown # 1)

Tim Seeley, Aaron Campbell, and Jim Terry. Vault, $17.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-63849-155-2

Western gets weird in this gore-strewn, rollicking adventure set in the 1870s but with a wink toward gothic Victorian horror. Forced back to the land of her birth after her coffins of home soil are destroyed in a fire, vampire Constance der Abend and her mortal companion, former confederate soldier Dooley O’Shaughnessy, return to Sangre de Moro, N.Mex. (“If I do not rest in the soil of my rebirth,” she says, “I will have to feed... more often... and with no concern for whose hot blood pours down my throat!”) There, they encounter a cult led by the sinister Reverend Herzog Jung. Seeley (the Hack/Slash series) and Campbell (the Hellblazer series) spin up a high-speed locomotive of a plot, dense with slasher film and literary references and plot turns, where the fantastic seems utterly logical in a land populated by monsters. Is vampire hunter Dirck actually the “Modern Prometheus” of Mary Shelley? He’s full of stitches and limbs that need to be reattached by albino companion Griffin, who just might be H.G. Wells’s Invisible Man. Terry (Come Home, Indio) lays out suitably eerie settings and elevates the sanguinary mood as Constance and her allies close in on Jung’s fiendish plot. It’s a tawdry monster mash that’s bloody entertaining. (Feb.)