“It’s time, Michael,” Loomis calmly affirmed in his stern, English drawl. The Shape only offered one final blank stare as his doctor ignited the gas that was filling the room. A great explosion rocked the first floor of Haddonfield General and the nightmare for Laurie Strode was apparently over… or not? Although we all witnessed The Shape collapse amidst a literal suit of flames, we were never given a full confirmation of his demise.
And so ended HALLOWEEN II. Then came the SEASON OF THE WITCH, which taught the HALLOWEEN franchise a very important lesson: never kill off your horror icon. Hence, The Shape returned, ten years later, in the series’ next installment thus paving the way for a somewhat fun, but mostly inferior string of sequels (parts 4, 5, and 6). Although Donald Pleasance did improbably return as Loomis, there was no Jamie Lee Curtis, no original Myers house, and a lame and thorny, I mean, corny supernatural subplot.
In my opinion, the series finally got back on track with installment number 7, which coincidentally celebrated the original’s 20th anniversary: HALLOWEEN H20. Jamie Lee Curtis finally returned and the ill-conceived scenarios developed in parts 4, 5, and 6 were smartly abandoned. The magic of the first two films was reignited (even without Donald Pleasance who sadly passed away before production began). I’m going to stop right there because the abomination that was HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION (minus the first ten minutes) does not deserve to be depicted.
My question to you is, have you ever wondered what would have went down between 2 and 7 (if the inferior sequels were all disregarded)? I know I have. Fortunately, the very creative minds of Stefan Hutchinson and Devil’s Due Publishing have also, which has led to the birth of the new mini-series comic HALLOWEEN: THE FIRST DEATH OF LAURIE STRODE.
I’m going to go out right away and say that for any true HALLOWEEN fan (myself included) this book is an absolute must! First off, the nostalgia factor: the series picks up precisely where HALLOWEEN II ended. The Shape was just burnt to a crisp and Laurie was taken away in an ambulance to safety. HOWEVER, the remains of Michael were never discovered and Laurie has slipped into a dark, fearful depression. Although this is only the first part of the comic series (a fast 27 pages), I could tell right from the get-go the writing was of the highest caliber and completely nailed the original HALLOWEEN’s essence. The authenticity!
Everything that occurred was an ideal and well-thought-out continuation of the story (with some witty insight into actions Laurie will take as a grown up). I truly felt like I was transported directly back to 1978. Not to be outdone by the words, the illustrations are nothing short of top notch. From the gorgeously creepy depictions of Michael’s mask to a gory car wreck to a kind wink at SEASON OF THE WITCH, I was caught in a kaleidoscope of warm autumnal colors and authentic facial expressions. Each page was a pleasure to behold.
If there were any problems I had with this part one of the series, it’d be that it ended too fast and just left me hanging. This is such an outstanding read that I seriously could have finished the entire series in an hour. You’d think that with the focus being mostly on Laurie Strode and the whereabouts of The Shape widely unknown, the story would lack proper action and suspense. Allow me to be the first to drive an 8-inch kitchen knife through that thought. I got more enjoyment out of these first 27 pages than I did from the thorny films 4 through 6. All I can say is, “Bring on the next entries in this comic’s series!”