Written by: Al Ewing, Rebecca Roanhorse, Chris Condon, Danny Lore, Chris Cooper, Adam Warren
Art by: Ramon Bachs, Geoff Shaw, Fran Galán, Karen S. Darboe, Ibrahim Moustafa, Adam Warren
Colors by: Rain Beredo, Arif Prianto, James Campbell, Cris Peter, Neeraj Menon, GURU-eFX
Letters by: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover art by: Leinil Francis Yu, Matt Milla
Cover price: $5.99
Release date: October 19, 2022
Crypt of Shadows #1 regales readers with six spooky tales of monster horror from across the Marvel universe, just in time for Halloween. Will this anthology send shivers down your spine? Keep reading… If You DARE!
Is It Good?
Consistent with most anthologies, Crypt of Shadows #1 is a mixed bag. Some stories are fairly good, and others are downright awful. The best of the bunch is a tale of monster hunting in NYC called Down Came the Rain. The worst, by far, is Neither Big Nor Bad. If you’re a fan of Marvel’s monster collection, there’s a little something for everyone, but temper your expectations.
The Crypt of Shadows
Victor Strange narrates the transition between tales of monsters, murder, and mayhem from the Crypt of Shadows.
Werewolf by Moon Knight
Jake, aka the current Werewolf by Night, and Molly accept an invitation to a Halloween party during their trip to NYC. The party, however, is a recruitment drive in disguise, designed to bring powerful monsters into the service of a shadowy figure.
Not bad. You get werewolf-vs-werewolf fighting action with great art, and a too-quick Moon Knight cameo, but the plot is paper thin. This story would have worked better as a full-sized one-shot.
Down Came the Rain
Elsa Bloodstone prowls the dark alleys of NYC, looking for an infected Spider-Man, now turned Man-Spider, before his bite spreads the body-altering contagion any further. With the help of Johnny Storm, Elsa heads into the sewers to was the spider out.
Simple, quick, clean, and effective. The art’s creepy during the quiet moments and kinetic during the action scenes. This is the type of quick-hit short that anthologies should seek out.
Neither Big Nor Bad
Brielle gets sidetracked on her way to a Halloween party when she encounters a pair of novice magicians attempting to take control of a local ghost. When the spellcasting begins, the experiment spins out of control for the amateur ghost hunters.
What a confusing, clunky mess of a short story?! The story eventually works its way out to a happy ending of sorts, but it’s not clear what the spellcasters were doing or why, the dialog exchange between characters is unintelligible in spots, and Brielle solves the character’s possession by being nice.
Victoria Montesi receives visions of the Darkhold’s magic taking hold of Morbius, the Living Vampire. When she moves to rid Morbius of the spell, she finds the cycle of violence is neverending.
This is a decent little short that reintroduces readers to the Darkhold, Morbius, Vicki Montesi, and the older Jinx Hastings. The story suffers from too much wooden dialog and exposition, but the art’s fairly good.
Endless Slaughter in the Infinite Swamp
X-23 enters the Louisiana swamps to recruit Man-Thing for help with the next big crisis. Unfortunately, Man-Thing’s swampy orders trigger a berserker response in X-23, causing a burning touch reaction from the swamp monster, locking the two in a neverending cycle of regeneration as they fight forever (almost).
This short is just plain weird, and the plot goes off the rails about midway through. Chalk this one up as an excuse to get X-23 to fight in a bikini made of moss for several pages straight.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Crypt of Shadows #1 is a mixed-bag anthology with a few hits but mostly misses. On the whole, the art is solid, and the stories pull together an eclectic collection of ideas, but several stories suffer from not enough page space or not enough writing quality.