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‘Dead Mall’ TPB (review)

Written by Adam Cesare
Art by David Stoll
Published by Dark Horse Comics


Long before the kids of America were entertained by social media, Tik Tok, Fortnite, and other modern pastimes, American kids hung out at shopping malls.

It is true that shopping malls still exist today, and at any time of day, a visitor to a mall should find it bustling with activity; however, the foot traffic found in malls today is nothing in comparison to how popular malls used to be with teens as recently as twenty years ago.

In Cesare’s Dead Mall, the noted horror writer crafts a horror tale that speaks to this changing trend and serves as both satire and horror about the state of the dead malls that have become a unique identifier of a uniquely American wasteland.

The Penn Mills Galleria is about to be demolished, and for five local teens, this is their last opportunity to get a peak at its long history before the mall is gone.

However, while Penn Mills has been dead and empty of human shoppers for many years, the mall is the home of untold monstrous entities.

For these five teens, a night of exploration turns into an unexpected horror. The teens must put aside their differences and work together to contend with a demon-possessed mall starved for human flesh and companionship.

If they don’t, they are doomed to be condemned to death along with the mall.

I wanted to like this book more.

However, teens trapped in an abandoned mall, hotel, mansion, school, insane asylum, etc, is a tired trope.

Cesare’s writing is strong, and Stoll’s artwork is competent. However, the book doesn’t do anything exciting or new. If you have read one story about a scrappy group of teens trying to escape a supernatural horror, then you have read them all.

While Dead Mall is stimulating, nothing in this book is memorable or compelling enough that it stands out sufficiently to justify the $19.99 price tag.

3 out of 5 stars.


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