The Passageway Is One of the Year’s Essential Horror Stories (Review)

The Passageway Is One of the Year's Essential Horror Stories (Review)

The Passageway, a new OGN from Image Comics, kicks off The Bone Orchard Mythos, from Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, in an unsettling fashion.

Warning: potential spoilers for The Passageway ahead!

The Passageway, the unsettling new graphic novel from Image Comics, kicks off The Bone Orchard Mythos in a grand, disturbing fashion. The Bone Orchard Mythos is a horror-themed shared universe, the brainchild of writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino, and will be unveiled across a series of original graphic novels and miniseries in the years to come. After a preview issue on Free Comic Book Day, The Bone Orchard Mythos debuts in style with The Passageway, a 98-page original graphic novel by Lemire and Sorrentino; it goes on sale in print and digital June 15.

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Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino first collaborated on Green Arrow during The New 52 era, injecting it with a gritty aesthetic hearkening back to Mike Grell’s classic run. The two came together again for the creator-owned Gideon Falls, a mind-bending, and award-winning, horror comic which they followed up with the science fiction title Primordial. Lemire, who is now exclusive to Image Comics, has reunited with Sorrentino to create a new shared universe, called The Bone Orchard Mythos. This new horror universe’s inaugural offering, The Passageway, invokes the same menacing dread that infused Gideon Falls, teleporting readers to a mysterious island with a dark secret.

Related: Spectro is a Terrifying Horror Anthology With a Satirical Edge

Geologist John Reed arrives at a remote island off the Canadian coast, sent to investigate a large, gaping hole near a lighthouse. The island is rugged and its sole inhabitant, Sally, is hiding something; she knows more about the hole than she is letting on. Soon plagued by horrifying visions, Reed deepens his investigation, plunging into a downward spiral of terror. As tension mounts with Sally, Reed learns of an ancient evil at the bottom of the hole, one that is stirring, ready to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

Since their first collaboration nearly a decade ago, Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino have wowed audiences with books such as Gideon Falls and fans of that title will find plenty to love in The Passageway. Gideon Falls perfectly meshed themes of horror with a deeply personal narrative and The Passageway improves on this, crafting a story of quietly building menace that works to unnerve the reader. The Passageway is Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino firing on all cylinders, pulling out all the stops to launch The Bone Orchard Mythos.

Lemire’s writing is as tight as it’s ever been, giving the readers just enough information to keep them intrigued while maintaining a characteristic grasp of human frailty. Sorrentino’s art remains like nothing else on the shelves, with a staggering command of shadow and hidden detail while retaining a clarity that only makes the horror feel more grounded in the real world. Combined with Dave Stewart’s subdued colors, Sorrentino’s painterly style and carefully considered page composition make it apparent why any fan of horror who ignores comics is missing out on some of the genre’s best stories. Previous project Gideon Falls – among the darkest comics of all time – explored the idea of disturbing truths manifesting in everyday life, and Sorrentino’s art is unparalleled in communicating the creeping dread of a seemingly solid world that can warp beneath your feet.

The Passageway offers little hints at what the future holds for The Bone Orchard Mythos,. but it meets the essential test of being a fascinating story in its own right. If The Passageway is any indication, Lemire, Sorrentino and Image Comics have created one of 2022’s essential reads, with plenty more on the way.

Next: Image Comics Blends Supernatural Horror with Real Problems in New Series

The Passageway #1 from Image Comics is coming June 15.

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About The Author

Shaun Corley
(1415 Articles Published)

Shaun Corley is a pop culture enthusiast living in the Pacific Northwest. After stints in both customer service and academia, he’s turned his attention to writing about comic books–his lifelong passion. He is a graduate of Radford University, with a degree in English. When not reading comics, he enjoys spending time with his fiance and their dog.

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