Elk’s Run #1

Elk's Run #1

After a checkered publication past, Elk’s Run has returned in digital serialization before the hardcover debuts in November. Issue #1 is out today at ComiXology.

As written by Joshua Hale Fialkov (The Bunker) and illustrated by Noel Tuazon (The Broadcast, Family Ties: An Alaskan Crime Drama), the mysterious atmosphere I remember (from the first go-round) permeates the story. A group of teen boys living in a small West Virginia town chafe at their parents’ controlling attitudes. They hang out at the supposedly haunted mine, because there’s nothing else to do.

Elk's Run #1

There’s a lot more going on that will be revealed over the series, so this first issue raises a ton of questions in the reader’s mind: Why were this group of people brought to Elk’s Run, and what do they mean by calling themselves “patriots”? What are the rules a father references about how to behave? Why don’t people leave, and what happens to them when they try? How will the lack of women be handled as the boys continue to age?

John brings up wanting to leave for college, and his father shouts him down. Then a tragedy occurs out of a prank, and discipline is going to become a huge problem. The mob tries to get their own rough justice, confirming John’s desire to escape. The question of leaving one’s hometown is a potent, universal one, and here, it’s been literalized in a horrific way. The adults may have made a decision, but the kids didn’t have a choice to move to Elk’s Run and may not have the choice to leave.

Tuazon’s line is scratchy and diffuse, which suits a story where lots is uncertain. His moody atmosphere serves the mystery well. The accidental scene of violence I found a bit hard to puzzle out, but it portrays what can happen in a few confusing seconds. I’ve previously posted preview pages. The digital series should run 8 issues, weekly. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)

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