Native American ghost and horror stories have been around for ages, and although maybe only a few can recall one or two, or something like the segment in Creepshow 2, just running a Google search will bring up a ton of these tales of eeriness and mystery. It is fitting somehow that Dark Horse, who has prided itself on its selection of quality horror comics over the past year, would take a stab at the genre with a new mini-series, To Hell You Ride, from the team of Henriksen, Maddrey, and Mandrake, finally giving their spin on this genre of horror.
In the past, greedy, white, gold miners disturb a sacred Native American burial ground in search of riches. Four warriors begin a ritual to reverse these wrongs the white man causes, but things go from bad to worse, as the miners begin to kill off the warriors before the ritual is completed, starting a curse that would last for years. Flash forward to present day, where we find Seven “Two Dogs” George, a Native American who is low on luck. He has lost his job at the mine, his father is dead, his farm is in shambles, and he has developed quite the drinking the problem. One night, one of the arrows from the unfinished ritual lands in front of Two Dogs, and as soon as he picks it up everything loses control.
The first issue of To Hell You Ride is an enjoyable start to this five-part mini-series. Mandrake’s art is awesome. From the cool cover image, to creepy miners, to faces being melted right off, Mandrake’s art is a must for a horror series of this nature to be rendered to its fullest creepy, dark world. Writing side of Henriksen and Maddrey was also great here. The setting and plot is refreshing from the zombie/vampire fare we are served fairly regularly these days in comics, and the jumping back and forth of time periods was done clearly without any confusion to the reader, all while advancing the well-paced plot, which is much appreciated.
There was blood and gore in this issue, but not buckets. Would I have loved to see more: yes. That said, we still have four more issues after this, so I look forward to seeing where the series goes in terms of its horror and gore now that the main story is set up. Hopefully the image of the melting face they served up this time was just a tease of things to come.
To Hell You Ride #1 is available from Dark Horse in print and digital.