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‘Joe Hill’s Rain’ HC (review)

Script by David M. Booher
Based on the novella by Joe Hill
Art by Zoe Thorogood
Introduction by Joe Hill
Published by Image Comics

 

I’ve read a few of Joe Hill’s horror stories and I’ve been consistently impressed by both his writing style and his originality. I find myself equally impressed by the storytelling skills of adapting writer David M. Booher, illustrator Zoe Thorogood, and colorist Chris O’Halloran in the collected version of the Image comic book, Joe Hill’s Rain.

I was a little leery of this book since I have a form of PTSD regarding heavy rain after the sewers backed up into our basement three times in the past 11 years, each time termed a one-in-a- hundred-years flood. As I’m sure you’ve seen in the news lately, there’s been a lot of that going around, and much worse than the issues that caused my PTSD. Climate change.

In his new Introduction, author Hill tells us he speculated as to what would get the real world climate change deniers to wake up to reality.

What if, he said, it started raining nails?

And we’re off! That’s the plot of Rain, in which the well-delineated new character of Honeysuckle Speck—described by Hill as a “queer female Sherlock,” finds life as she knew it completely destroyed by the initial, unexpected eight-minute deadly shower.

From there, she sets out on a quest, a mission. She’s dogged by various factions of survivors, including the uncontrollable weather itself, spreading rapidly around the country and the globe. Soon enough, our heroine begins to grasp the fact that this could very well be the end…of everything.

But then Honeysuckle finds something she never expected to find, and we readers are reminded that paying close attention can be rewarding in these kinds of stories.

Of necessity, the art showcases gory deaths and violence but it never seems exploitative. Literally the world of these characters changes almost immediately from a beautiful day to an apocalyptic nightmare and Zoe Thorogood’s depictions pulls us along with the indomitable Honeysuckle, even as she faces challenges completely alien and unthinkable to her until the rains came.

All in all, Rain presents a depressing and scarily plausible concept, made easier in book form by the presence of an off-model but classic plucky heroine, and carried off well by all the creators involved.

Booksteve recommends.

 

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