Terror Inc. #1


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Terror Inc. #1


  • Words: David Lapham
  • Art: Patrick Zircher
  • Inks: Patrick Zircher
  • Colors: June Chung
  • Story Title: The Dismemberment Plan
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Aug 15, 2007

The decaying assassin-for-hire is back in the MAX imprint’s latest foray into the darker corners of the Marvel Universe…

Terror is a character with a somewhat convoluted publishing history. Originally a recurring player in Epic’s Shadowline family of books in the 1980s under the name of Schreck, he then made his way to the Marvel Universe proper in the 1990s, eventually gaining his own short-lived Terror Inc. series. In recent years he’d been all but forgotten until he popped up as a member of the "League of Losers" in the pages of Robert Kirkman’s Marvel Team-Up a year or two back.

David Lapham’s interpretation of Terror Inc. follows recent Marvel MAX versions of some of the more disturbing creations of the Marvel Universe like Zombie and Hellstorm: Son of Satan, allowing a greater degree of latitude in elaborating on the violence and horror of these characters’ worlds.

Terror’s origins in this first issue lie in the Fifth Century A.D. When the Romans conjure a demonic entity to take care of the Vandal tribes sacking Rome, one tribesman becomes an instant hero by taking the creature on in a ferocious battle and slaying it. But victory comes at a price, as he discovers he has been infected with its undead curse.

As a rotting, walking cadaver the man now known as Schreck is apparently nearly-immortal, but he must constantly replace his body parts with those of his victims. Via a significant detour to the Middle Ages the book jumps forward to Terror’s current-day activities as a professional hitman and a job disposing of a supposed governmental traitor that may not be all it seems…

Lapham’s story retains many elements of the first incarnation of Terror but with a twist or two. It’s an adept re-imagining of the character that never loses sight of the core concept of the original creation and makes full use of the extra leeway afforded by the MAX imprint. Schreck’s precarious hold on what little remains of his humanity is ably illustrated in a number of sequences, particularly in regards to his lost love. Lapham also exploits his powers to their fullest potential in storytelling terms. Watch out for his quite chilling method of going undercover or the subtle horror of using animal parts to replenish his dying body parts.

Patrick Zircher’s art is stunning. From the detailed carnage of centuries-old battlefields to violent espionage in modern-day Los Angeles, Zircher excels in portraying the ultra-brutal reality of Terror’s existence. The cliffhanger ending is particularly graphic and a definite hook for readers to pick up the next issue.

A very promising start for Lapham and Zircher’s take on Marvel’s decomposing killer-for-hire. Zombie crime noir has simply never looked better!

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