A Nice House on the Lake was one of the best psychological horror comics I have ever read, and weirdly for someone who doesn’t really like horror, I’ve read a heck of a lot, so when I heard that James Tynion IV had a new horror comic called w0rldtr33 in the works, I knew I was in for a treat.
So far the first issue has not disappointed. Full of all of the creepy mystery, graphic violence, and psychological torture we’ve come to expect from Tynion, w0rldtr33 is a deep dive into our modern fears about technology, the monied class, and horrors that live inside everyone.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s dig into this book together, and see how James Tynion IV has once again caught lightning in a bottle!
Here’s the blurb: abriel and his friends discovered the Undernet, a secret architecture to the Internet. They charted their exploration on a message board called W0RLDTR33.
Then they lost control. Someone broke into W0RLDTR33—someone who welcomed the violent hold the Undernet had on them. At great personal cost, Gabriel and the others thought they sealed the Undernet away for good.
They were wrong. And now they will know the meaning of PH34R.
The next major horror outing from multiple Eisner Award-winning writer JAMES TYNION IV (THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH, The Nice House on the Lake) and FERNANDO BLANCO (Detective Comics), along with Eisner-winning colorist JORDIE BELLAIRE and Eisner-nominated letterer ADITYA BIDIKAR, begins here!
Just a little warning: The following will include discussion of death, murder, gore, sexuality, and shootings. Basically if you are easily upset by sex and death, this might be a pass for you.
James Tynion IV’s horror work has long been able to take classic genre tropes and give them interesting and new twists. With Department of Truth, he took the idea of a time and globe spanning conspiracy involving government cover-ups and secret societies, and added the new a fascinating twist that all the conspiracies’ are real, but only if you believe in them. Kind of like a Slenderman or Freddy Krueger situation, they only have power if you think about them, but the fear of that power keeps you from thinking of little else.
With A Nice House on the Lake he took the classic trope of survivors of the end of the world, and made those survivors the actual casualties of the end times, their place of safety becoming a real prison full of constant and unending tortures while those outside were granted a quicker, though equally as painful death.
And with w0rldtr33 he plays with the outbreak narrative, where a team races against a clock they cannot see to try to stop the spread of something awful that it may already be too late to contain. Only instead of a virus, it’s the thing we rely on the most in our modern world, the internet.
The first issue if w0rldtr33 opens with a scene that has, sadly, become all too common in today’s world: a killer livestreaming their rampage. This young man is going door to door in a typical, suburban neighborhood murdering people door to door. His M.O. is the same each time, knock, show them something on his phone, and then slice them open with a knife.
The thing on his phone is what we come to learn as The UnderNet, a secret…something that is connected to the framework of the internet itself, a horrific hellscape that somehow is intricately tied to the nature of the internet itself, while at the same time being completely unknown to the vast majority of the population.
We quickly learn that this UnderNet was discovered, documented, and seemingly contained years before by a group of friends. They understood just how dangerous it could be if it got out, and the fact that it has somehow managed to escape, and start poisoning the minds of the population spurs them into action to prevent it while there is still time. The problem is that, not only might it be too late to contain, they also are dealing with a mysterious woman with a predilection for murder, nudity, and spreading access to the UnderNet.
w0rldtr33 is quintessential James Tynion IV, ramped up to eleven, and has all the hallmarks of another classic horror thriller that fans have come to expect from him. The first issue drops this week, so call up your LCS and save yourself a copy while you can. This one is already getting a lot of chatter, and a ton of variant covers, so you’ll want to snag your copy as soon as you can!
Until next time, Stay Safe.