We’re so close to Halloween, I can taste the candycorn and whatever candy candy candy goodness is out there that I’m going to try and swipe from the Biff Bam Pop! Princess when she’s done trick or treating this year. In the meantime, I’ve been keeping myself busy watching horror movies and reading spooktacular comics to get me in the mood for monster mayhem.
The past year at the House of Ideas has presented some solid supernatural storytelling, including great books in Strange and Moon Knight; this week saw the release of Crypt of Shadows, an anthology that finds a cavalcade of writers and artists scaring up fun stories from the darkest corners of the Marvel Universe.
Here’s the logline: The heroes of the Marvel Universe spend most of their time in the bright sun, flying high above it all…but every once in a while, they venture into the darkness that lurks in the hidden corners of the world. There lurk the creatures, the monsters, the vampires…the ones who prey on innocence and goodness. Join us, and some of your favorite heroes, for tales of fangs, claws and silent, stalking swamp creatures to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve!
The various stories found in Crypt of Shadows are all introduced by Victor Strange, the brother of the currently deceased Stephen Strange. Written by Al Ewing and illustrated by Ramon Bachs, these interludes can’t help but recall the Crypt Keeper or Caine from House of Mystery (though Victor is far more handsome than those other fellas), and it’s this link to classic horror anthologies like Tales from The Crypt and Creepy that added to my enjoyment of this particular book. Throughout the pages of Crypt of Shadows, we get short but sturdy tales involving characters like Moon Knight and the latest iteration of Werewolf By Night, Elsa Bloodstone, and Michael Morbius. There’s also an excellent story of a neverending battle between X-23 and Man-Thing that’s illustrated and written by Adam Warren and that ends the book on a seriously horrific note, though not in the way you might think.
If you’re looking for a Marvel-ous way to get primed for All Hallow’s Eve (and you’ve already watched Werewolf By Night on Disney+), Crypt of Shadows will definitely scratch your horror itch.