Written by John Edward Betancourt
It's no secret that I have been absolutely enamored by IDW's comic book revitalization of Tales from the Darkside and with good reason. It's a faithful follow up to an iconic show, paying respect where it is due, but all the while adding new wrinkles to the mythos along the way. Because of the quality that has gone into this, it made today's review a difficult one, because the fourth issue of this stunning series...is also its last.
Yes, since the rebooted series never reached the airwaves there are only so many scripts that Joe Hill penned, and we have come to the last of them from that pile and well...they most certainly saved the best for last. Because not only does 'The Window Opens' wrap up the whole 'Black Box' storyline, it prepares us for something far more nefarious and in a way...perhaps explains this whole universe to us in the process.
This go round, we meet a young girl named Joss Waldrop and she's new to the neighborhood. On a seemingly boring day, Joss is terrified at the brief glimpse of a man appearing and disappearing before her while she's behind the wheel of her car, forcing her to run off the road and smash into a mailbox and apologize profusely to the family inside the house for damaging their property. But the quirky heads of the household think of an easy way for her to make up for her mistake, just babysit the kids tonight and all will be well. But little does Joss know, the two children in this household have discovered the gateway to the Darkside on their tablet computers...and she will be in for one incredible night of terror as they begin to play with reality and the horrible things that lurk in the shadows.
So, out of the four 'episodes' that IDW published, this one is my favorite by far. It ties all four stories together by revealing that Briterside's notion of control has completely backfired and unleashed an evil upon the world in Big Winner. Reality is no longer what it seems and the parallel world of the Darkside is ready to claim lives at will. That means in a roundabout sort of way, this final book serves as a prequel to the whole mess, that the horrible tales we enjoyed so long ago are people like Joss, trapped in a world they cannot explain where awful things happen on a regular basis and Brian Newman is more or less the patient zero of it all. It's a stroke of genius and all origin story aside, the story inside this issue is equally as impressive, filled to the brim with chilling visuals as the children's ideas come to life and my particular favorite is the tentacle creature that emerges from the bedroom.
However, despite this awesome finale to Joe Hill's run as Maestro of the Darkside, I am definitely sad to see this series come to an end. Tales from the Darkside was an influential television series, one that paved the way for the horror we enjoy on television today, so to see it resurrected, in any form was a big deal to me and no doubt to horror fans everywhere and one can only hope that Joe's incredible work on this series inspires someone to resurrect this series on television in some form or fashion because it's clear from these four issues, there are plenty of scary places that we can still go in this universe and at the minimum, I certainly hope that IDW decides to pick up this series as a regular run with a variety of different writers giving life to new and terrifying stories from the scariest places of our imagination. But for now, this good thing has come to an end and what better way to say goodbye than with the chilling reminder that...'The Darkside is always there, waiting for us to enter...waiting to enter us. Until next time, try to enjoy the daylight.'