From the beginning, Desperado and IDW deserve praise for this beautiful edition ofMnemovore. Oversized with expanded special features, the hardcover does great justice to artist Mike Huddleston's pages. Huddleston, who has recently done exemplary work on Robert Venditti's Homeland Directive from Oni Press and Joe Casey's series Butcher Baker from Image Comics, displays his diversity here with a much more relaxed, cartoony style as opposed to the highly rendered, painted cover work that adorned the original miniseries and now serve as chapter markers. An extremely detailed sketchbook of Huddleston's illustrations accompany the narrative, alongside a gallery of Mnemovore-inspired pin-ups by artists Cameron Stewart, Enrique Breccia, Camilla D'Errico, Ray Fawkes, Frazer Irving, and Guy Davis. If this were not enough, Fawkes includes a history of the series that traces its evolution and development, as well as a newly written epilogue illustrated by Huddleston.
As far as the story goes, Mnemovore is a classic mixture of horror and mystery genres as the protagonist, Kaley Markowic, suffers a career- and nearly life-ending injury that leaves her an amnesiac. During her recovery and attempts to rebuild her shattered memory with the aid of her family, her boyfriend, and her friends, an unknown threat emerges in the guise of a snail or wormlike creature assaulting everyone close to Kaley. When the tentacled monster turns its attention to her, she begins to question her very reality and the intentions of those closest to her. When the Mnemovore spreads beyond her inner circle and begins expanding its influence to others, Kaley must sacrifice more than her already broken memories in an ending that is only complicated even more by the addition of Fawkes and Huddleston's new epilogue. The writer and artist tease that further adventures for Kaley may be forthcoming. Here's hoping that Fawkes and Huddleston deliver.
In many ways, Mnemovore reads like classic Vertigo--sinister threat, flawed heroine, a sense of general discomfort and mistrust, and a closure that will leave many readers questioning whether the monster was real or simply a figment of Kaley's damaged brain. The ingredients for a thought-provoking adventure are all here. The subplot surrounding the tertiary figure of Mike Neville is reason enough to give Mnemovore more than just a passing glance on the comic store shelves. While some audiences may grow frustrated at the ambiguous nature of the narrative and absence of concrete absolutes in story development, it is in these moments that Mnemovore distances itself from generic, recycled horror plots and the well-worn trails of slasher gore passed off as genuine terror.
Reviewed by Nathan Wilson on July 6, 2012