Day #192: Silent Hill: Downpour – Anne’s Story (IDW Publishing)

[Tom Waltz | Tristan Jones]

Synopsis:

After her corrections officer father was brutally attacked during a prison riot, Anne Cunningham began to plot her revenge against the inmate responsible. Her plans have led her to Silent Hill, where she will have to face her demons – and the truth about her choices.

My take:

Considering my less than positive post about previous Silent Hill comics, you might be a bit surprised that I’ve returned to the franchise. I certainly was. But, I was hoping it’d turn out to be another Past Life, rather than any of those earlier…messes.

Thankfully, Anne’s Story is probably the tightest Silent Hill story arc I’ve read. And, while some of its predecessors have fallen into the trap of reveling in the horror of the town’s conceptual framework – as a place that reflects your own darkness back at you – without having clear storylines, Anne’s Story not only acknowledges that this place has its own rules, but follows them.

This might not seem like a revolutionary achievement, but in the Silent Hill comics franchise, it kinda is.

The story only goes for four issues, and spends a lot of its time going through the events that lead up to Anne being in Silent Hill, so it can be a bit short on present-tense details at times. In other words, it might talk the talk of puzzle-solving-as-character-development with a bit more verve than it walks the walk (and, to be fair, that might be because there’s a valid question about whether there is any character development occurring), but it at least does the job of making sure that the reader understands what’s going on.

Again: that’s kind of a huge achievement for a Silent Hill comic.

There were some occasions where I would’ve liked to understand the imagery that was being used more often (re: monster designs), but for the most part I found myself enjoying the visuals of Anne’s Story. It’s certainly an improvement over some of the messy crayon scribbles that made up the art of earlier comics – even if I think I still prefer the aesthetic of Past Life.

I’ll be less nervous about future Silent Hill comics, at any rate.

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