'Silent Hill: Sinner's Reward'


I have to admit before we even get started on this review?I?m a big Silent Hill fan. I love the fact that the series can be summed up as such: A strange town in the middle of nowhere sometimes fills up with fog and sometimes fills up with monsters, and most of the time people disappear or get mauled. The series of videogames all follow this basic formula, and they seldom stray. Even the feature film released in 2006 followed the formula, or at least tried. IDW Publishing's new graphic novel Silent Hill: Sinner?s Reward, collecting the five-issue comic-book series, does what it knows it has to, while successfully telling a wildly different story for the franchise.

Written by Tom Waltz, the story follows a hit man named Jack Stanton who goes on the run with his boss?s wife, and ends up in Silent Hill. Yep, make that an unlucky hit man. While the town of Silent Hill feels the same, this is a very different story. Sinner?s Reward really breaks from tradition by making the main character confident and a great shot. Instead of a scared young woman or a guy who just wants to find his family, we get a tough-talking bastard who shoots first and asks questions later. There are surprises in this plot that you just wouldn?t expect from a Silent Hill entry, but there they are, snarling at you from behind the panels. Speaking of which?

The artwork in this graphic novel (brought to us by the fantastic Steph Stamb) seeps and puddles with a lurid intensity that hasn?t been done this well since Templesmith started smearing his reds. Whole pages are devoted to specific color schemes, and a thick haze seems to fill even the most inactive panels.

If you?re a fan of the Silent Hill series, there are small things in Sinner?s Reward that will make you smile, but don?t be surprised if you spend most of your time with teeth clenched at this taut new thriller.