There is something about tales of darkness, love, terror, and discovery that continue to fascinate us. It's as though when woven together, they somehow reveal deeper truths about not only the stories told but the human condition itself. It's why works by Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and others who navigate the space between fantasy and horror inspire and endure, in their turn. It's in this vein that writer Skottie Young and artist Jorge Corona have teamed up again for the new Image Comics series The Me You Love in the Dark. If the first issue is any indication, this is a rich, dark, and wrenching tale that relies more on the sort of scares which send cold chills up your spine than screams into your throat.
The premise of The Me You Love in the Dark is straightforward. Artist Ro Meadows moves away from the city to the midwest in order to find inspiration, having hit a creative stall. She winds up finding an old house to call home, though she's forewarned the house is said to be haunted. While that might be enough to scare off most, for Ro it's perfect. She moves in and immediately starts talking to the ghost, clearly hoping the house's legends will give her the inspiration she so deeply seeks. I won't offer any spoilers here, but it's safe to say that things don't work out quite as Ro plans them.
There's a lot that works in The Me You Love In The Dark #1. Young's writing establishes Ro's personality very well and her chatter is a lot of fun to read, but the real standout element of the debut is the combination of Corona's artwork and Jean-Francois Beaulieu's colors. The art itself carefully uses space and presentation to tell the story itself. It's one that offers perspective on Ro as well as the world she has let herself into, and it's in a way that words simply could not especially considering how Beaulieu's colors possess a cinematic effect. You can feel the mood of the page and the energy of where the story is at based on those colors and even the darkest tones, all of which hold some warmth, even in the most frightening elements. The art in this story is an invitation one engraved by Nate Piekos' lettering that, initially feels very pop art, but soon enough melds into the open spaces of these extraordinary pages.
Overall, The Me You Love in the Dark #1 is a fantastic start to what promises to be a rich, dark, and vibrant tale. The issue doesn't cover a lot of ground getting the reader to the core action—which might be the one slight drawback to this debut—but the world readers are shown is irresistible and finely crafted, enough to keep us all returning to learn more.
Published by Image Comics
On August 4, 2021
Written by Skottie Young
Art by Jorge Corona
Colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letters by Nate Piekos
Cover by Jorge Corona