It’s always a pleasure to come across a comic that grips me from the very first page. The Cull #1 by award-winning writer Kelly Thompson (Black Cloak) and talented artist Mattia De Iulis (Captain America) did just that. This debut issue is a perfect blend of horror and mystery.
The Cull #1 begins with five friends, setting off to shoot a short film on a forbidden rock near their home. The summer before they all go their separate ways, they must have one last adventure. There’s a perfect blend of Something is Killing the Children horror vibes with The Goonies-style adventure that keeps you hooked from the get-go. But, that’s not the only reason they’re there. One of them has lied, and that lie will change their lives forever.
One of the most striking aspects is the utter realism and detail of the artwork from De Iulis. Every panel is thoughtfully and expertly crafted. The colors are magnificent – from the golden hour of sunset to the somber hues of the night. It’s safe to say that The Cull #1 has some of the best artwork in a comic book in 2023.
Another aspect of the comic book that’s worth mentioning is the superb lettering from industry veteran Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. While it’s understated, it plays a crucial role in conveying emotions and setting the tone of each scene. The lettering is impeccably designed and blends seamlessly with the artwork. It’s a testament to how well the team behind the comic book works together.
The story surrounding teens and friendships is another huge plus-side to The Cull #1. As someone who loves coming-of-age tales, I found this aspect of the comic book extremely relatable. The characters are all distinct, with unique personalities and motivations. The writing is so good that you feel like you’re getting to know these teens for real. You can’t help but root for them and feel their struggles.
Finally, there are so many threads that could be followed, setting up what seems to be an amazing story moving forward. Without giving too much away, the mystery introduced in the final pages of the comic opens up a whole new avenue of possibilities. The world building is well-paced, and I’m excited about where the story might go.
The Cull #1 by Kelly Thompson and Mattia De Iulis is a phenomenal start to a new comic book series. It’s an engaging and thrilling read that combines horror, mystery, and coming-of-age themes in a unique way. The artwork is breathtaking, the lettering is superb, and the writing is top-notch.
The Cull #1 hit local comic shops on August 16, 2023 from Image Comics.