Review: Issue #1 of ‘Scarenthood’ by Nick Roche and Chris O’Halloran Is a Frightfully Good Time

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Courtesy of IDW Publishing

From Nick Roche (Transformers: The Wrecker Saga) and Chris O’Halloran (Immortal Hulk) comes a new comic book series that will leave you sleeping with the lights on. Scarenthood follows a group of parents who discover something sinister lurking beneath the Church Hall of their children’s school. One parent, Cormac, soon realizes an evil entity may have attached itself to him and his daughter. The series will be four issues total, releasing monthly beginning in November.

Roche and O’Halloran immediately set the tone for the story, primarily through their characters. As the parents wait to pick up their children, the key characters are introduced. Each one has a distinct personality, presented in the way they speak, and how they’re drawn. Their motives are clear, and they remain interesting throughout. Cormac is an especially mysterious character, however, which is one great way to keep you reading. It will be intriguing to see how Cormac’s personality and other aspects of his life unfold across the rest of the series.

One of the standout elements for me is the relationship between Cormac and his daughter Bethany. Cormac is learning to adjust to life as a single parent. He dotes on Bethany, who seems to share a similar sort of affection as she also tries to adjust to only having Cormac around. Later in the comic, his fear about not being able to protect Bethany is palpable, the unknown lurking in his life. Their relationship emphasizes the recurring themes of Scarenthood.

The comic also does an excellent job setting up the horror elements of the story and teasing how they’ll come into play in the following issues. The story begins as what seems like a typical ghost story but soon transforms into something clever and unique. You may think you know what will happen, but you don’t. Even sitting in the recognizable qualities of a horror story, Scarenthood brings a fresh take to the table.

Visually, the comic is a vibrant landscape that draws you in from page one. The more colorful sections lull you into a false sense of security as the horror elements become more prominent. Daytime doesn’t necessarily mean safety. It’s a clever way to enhance a sense of paranoia while reading. Roche and O’Halloran also create a good sense of the general setting, and it’s easy to imagine what the rest of their setting may look like based on what they establish. They demonstrate an excellent attention to detail, taking care to craft each setting’s background, creating a richer viewing experience.

If you’re looking for something to read this spooky season and beyond, Scarenthood is it. Roche and O’Halloran bring characters to life you’ll rapidly become invested in, especially Cormac and Bethany. Issue #1 provides a concise and interesting story, with just enough information to satiate you without showing all its cards. The cliffhanger ending serves as a great stopping point to lead into Issue #2. Its dark humor contrasts well with the vibrant coloring and fits comfortably with the darker colored panels. It examines life through the lens of a parent, trying to protect a child from things that go bump in the night. Scarenthood is a comic series you won’t want to miss.

Make sure to check out Issue #1 of Scarenthood, available November 4.

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By Julia
Julia is a writer/editor/content assistant for Nerds who joined the team in 2019.
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