Review – Malefic #8

  • Writer: Dan Schaffer
  • Artist: David Miller
  • Lettering: Chris Crank
  • Published by: 1First Comics

Hot on the heels of an asylum revolt, mass death and new adventures in persona extraction and development we return to dear Doctor Freust. Inmate Eleven has had a fun time playing real mind games using telepathy and other means of terror to inflict trauma. Not one to sit out a fight, Freust rises to the challenge, spinning with new ideas for this last bout as Malefic draws to a close.

The final issue packs a punch, Freust has to face her greatest fears and overcome the one patient that has eluded her. How does one fight the devil when mortal concepts and creations have failed? When facing what appears as pure evil, where is the line? Is there even a line? It’s a thing with this issue, and eventually one has to weigh the greater good or at least a good nights rest vs the eternal torture that would otherwise follow.

Dan Schaffer wraps up a very disturbing season of Malefic with a bang, bringing Freust to the top of her game, showing her personality shift to finally shine in this pit. She’s seen thugs and violence, danced with psychic combatants, and poked into the minds of every inmate there only to take a few stabs at fixing things. She’s battle-hardened at this point, each challenge meant to break her very being but instead making her let go of that past life, piece by piece.

David Miller shines in the final pages of this series or at least this first volume. Bringing everything to life with intense gestures, contorted bodies, and expression, the rage and action filling the pages. Looks of dread and terror dominating with intense contrast, with so much going on and the stakes at their highest, Miller brings it home for Malefic. For those following Freust’s doll experiment, there’s no shortage of high-quality gesture and feedback. The final showdown pages with Freust and Eleven are priceless, the darkness wraps around the pages and brings these characters to their prime.

Malefic isn’t for everyone, but for those looking to explore supernatural challenges that completely break the norm it’s a must read series. For those on a budget, the whole series is also wrapped in a single volume option now. It’s next level macabre with horrors and moments that make it a thrill through the pages to see what happens next and how bad things can keep getting.

For those looking to find the perfect little horror comic for that one special someone, this should do it. Really, it’s damaging in a beautiful way.

Link: Order (Digital) | Volume 1 (Issues 1 – 8)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★★ 

Review – Malefic #7

  • Writer: Dan Schaffer
  • Artist: David Miller
  • Lettering: Chris Crank
  • Published by: 1First Comics

Overdue a bit, but finishing out the coverage round of Malefic for the holidays as it’s a unique entry into the field of superheroes and fantasy tales out there. Reviews date back to the first issue and a summary will follow after the review of issue 8 goes live next. For now, a bit of chaos as we revisit Doctor Freust in the den of madness, indulging in her darkest desire as all hell prepares to break loose.

With Grayson entering the fray we see the doctor facing that which sent her into this hotel of damnation. While basic impulse and logic would steer one away from such madness, the good doctor ignores that and runs head-on into her encounter with Grayson, knowing full well about the abilities within. The doctor finds herself lost to the moment as inmate eleven stirs the pot, teasing about inevitable destruction and murder. It’s not long before the situation goes sideways and we find Doctor Freust rushing to action.

It’s a tense series of moments within the asylum, setting up Freust to see the fruits of her labor with experiments on the inmates and still tackling new challenges as everything burns around her. Fortunately, that moment of passion and her lapse in judgment fades and she’s able to reassess her situation and tackle the few small battles that come at her. Unfortunately, wits only get her so far before she’s facing down the larger and more violent members of the facility.

Miller helps create balances of tension and emotion within the pages of issue 7. Dealing with battles of persona, ultra-violence, and Freusts responses to the wild issues raging within is certainly a challenge. Topping that off, Grayson gets a spectacular display of insanity under the diagnostic specs that really drives home how sick of a guy she was dealing with.

While readers do see a loss in issue 7, it’s almost inevitable with a challenge of that size and a comic as dark as this. Happy endings in Malefic are more of a myth and sign of deeper delusion than a reality there. With only one issue left, it’s hard to imagine how Dan Schaffer wraps this chaotic whirlwind up.

Link: Order (Digital)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Malefic #1

  • Writer: Dan Schaffer
  • Artist: David Miller
  • Published by: 1First Comics

Stories of insanity always have their own surprises and twists, Malefic is an interesting and modern take on such a tale. A young aspiring doctor, a past tarnished with a bit of shame, cannibalism and a dash of attempted murder. This is the life of our Doctor Freust in Malefic, it’s ugly, gritty and fascinating at once as the young doctor kicks off their debut issue right in the lion’s den without a second thought.

This first issue is a casual introduction that slowly drags Doctor Freust and readers deeper and deeper as events unfold. Having a lead with no issue about bearing it all in their back story with no issue is a welcoming, they know what happened, what it did and they’re not paralyzed by it. It’s just the larger machine and inmates of the facility that do manage that state later on once Doctor Freust realizes what her father was really up to and buried in.

Complimenting this intricate story are pages of art from David Miller, delivering expressionistic styling throughout. From the first pages of Doctor Freust talking in her cell to cannibalistic seductive murder, faces and gestures in these pages are creative and expressive giving life to each scenario. We get a detailed grand picture of the facility, the dark halls and chambers within it and a bit of extreme detail when it comes to inmate habits. But it all acts as a support to the story and the atmosphere of Malefic, even more so when adding in the Diagnostic Spectacles which are just an interesting twist on the real inner demons waiting to make their way out later in the series.

Malefic #1 delivers a bit of everything out of the gate, interesting back story, a horrifying granny figure, devastating loss, an asylum to end all asylums, super-secret religious organizations and more. It’s just packaged so well and delivered in the right portions that it makes for an interesting read especially as we stroll into Halloween season. Can it get much worse for Doctor Freust? Undoubtedly and it most likely will which is a good hook for readers looking for something to tickle/scar their brains.

Link: Order (Digital)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★½