Silent Hill: Among the Damned
Among the Damned is a single publication in the Silent Hill Comics. Still written by Scott Ciencin, sadly, but the art is done by Shaun Thomas. I don’t hate his style, though it is a little weird the way Jason looks like a folded piece of paper. Maybe he was going for the meaning behind it, that Jason feels bent and broken, I don’t know.
Jason is a soldier and a survivor. His team was attacked by some monsters or something and he was the only one spared. Every night he dreams about the slaughter over and over again. He wakes and curses that Dahlia probably thought he was a pussy annnnnd the frustration begins here!
1) What is going on, Ciencin? Up to this point you’ve left out most of the games alone and allowed them their dignity. Aside from ripping off monster designs and throwing out the name “Alessa” in some graffiti, the games have been mostly left alone. But now you are just straight up taking the name of the antagonist from Silent Hill 1 and making her a movie and music icon in pink?!
2) What!? Jason, that was a poster. It was a poster that was watching you sleep. A poster of Dahlia, not the actual Dahlia. What is wrong w/ you?
Jason gets dressed and heads up to some mountain to kill himself. Along the way he meets a woman that looks kind of like Dahlia, but their encounter is brief. He starts driving when suddenly night attacks! Jason crashes his car and thinks that he saw something dart in front of the car so he goes looking for help. He wonders into Silent Hill and gets chased around by some monsters. Then he freaks out like he has never held a gun before and starts screaming about no one having his back.
While he is having his freak out, Dahlia wonders in for no apparent reason. He chases her down— like the stalker he is! His encounter with Dahlia really calls into question his mental state. Fist he thinks that that Dahlia sees him through the poster on his wall, then he sees her in Silent Hill and is compelled from the depths of his soul to chase her down and protect her. They hide inside a shop (I remember once upon a time when over %70 of the doors in Silent Hill were inoperable. Just once in these comics I’d like to read “The lock is broken. The door won’t open.”) and Jason does his best to protect Dahlia when she turns out to be a Demon!
Amazing! I don’t care. She scares the monsters back for a bit when a pack of random people appear and rush them into The Sanctuary.
Who are these people? Where did they come from? Why are they here? Why does the leader known as Leo look like Joshua Grahm from Fallout: New Vegas? And why does The Sanctuary have some lazy-ass symbol that kind of looks like a child’s finger painting of the Halo of the Sun
Seriously. Look at that! It looks like a flower or something. And I don’t think that that is how the Halo of the Sun works. In Silent Hill 3, there is a book you can read that tells you that the Halo of the Sun, can appear in almost every color except blue and blue has the opposite effect of the spell. So that doesn’t mean that it has to be red and it definitely doesn’t mean it has to be blood like Leo says it does. And on top of that, it was meant to be a way to CALL GOD, not ward off monsters (and if blue is supposed to be a curse upon God) although to Leo’s credit he does say that he doesn’t actually know for sure if the symbols do what they think they do.
Jason tries to give Dahlia a gun as he apparently had a case of temporarily INEXISTANCE when she went all demon-faced earlier. She decides that she’ll pas on the gun, but wants his guns. GET IT? GET IT?! They have sex—NOT THAT WE GET TO ENJOY IT.
Bad art and then you cut to black like a dick. Not that I was expecting graphic detail (even though these artists have no problem drawing detailed boobs), but something other than a solid black square would be nice. They bump uglies and wait a minute… if Among the Damned the backstory to zombie aviator dad from Dead/Alive?! Military guy falls in love w/ a demon in disguise, they have a kid, then give it up. LET’S READ MORE AND FIND OUT!
They decide to leave The Sanctuary and try to make their way out of the town. While they are roaming around, Jason’s war buddies turn up, zombiefied and tell him that they have unfinished business. Jason has another full-on freak out and starts shooting them for no reason.
Jason runs off w/ Dahlia in tow, but she reveals herself as a demon-tentacle-head-stick-thing and tells the monsters to “Bow down. Worship me! Worship me!” Jason, what a shock, freaks out and tries to run away. She gives him something… uh, jello? And tells him to run.
She throws him out a window where his zombie troop is waiting for him. They tell him that they want to protect him and they tell him this as they guide him out of Silent Hill. They say that when the monsters attacked, they were given the opportunity to chose who would survive and they choose Jason for… some… reason… and that they want him to “…Live. Really live for the first time.”
He makes it to the border and finds Dahlia waiting for him. She asks if he kept what she gave him and it turns out she gave him her heart—no like literally, her heart. She took it out of her chest and put it in his hand. I have no idea what that did or why she had to, especially since she screams to some unknown entity that they “… told me it wouldn’t hurt. You told me I wouldn’t feel anything!” Whatever. I guess they are in love so they walk away together into the sunset.
This comic sucked—but not as bad as I thought it would. It was way better than Dying Inside and way, way better than Dead/Alive. Jason is a bit like Kenneth Carter in the fact that he suffers from a lack of personality. He sort of has the “good guy” aura to him, but he doesn’t do much to achieve appreciation from the reader. Especially since he freaks out and runs away all the time.
I think most of that comes from his PTSD and Survivor’s Guilt, which a very severe conditions for soldiers and would have made an amazing backstory for the character of Jason, but it is basically ignored. He doesn’t go through anything that would press upon those stresses other than the 2 encounters he had w/ the zombies of his former troop mates.
Dahlia also has basically no personality other than the fact that she is some demon. I get the feeling that Ciencin got bad feedback about his characters in Dying Inside and Dead/Alive, so in order to avoid Single Personality Disorder, he stripped all his characters of ANY personality. I’d complain, but I rather like no personality over a single obnoxious personality. Also, there is hardly any swearing in this comic. I’m not condoning swearing, I swear a shit-ton, but not when it comes to writing a story or detailing vocabulary of characters that would not swear.
As for the idea that Among the Damned is the backstory for Dead/Alive’s Kenneth Carter/Joshua Reynolds… I don’t know.
We don’t ever know Jason’s last name nor do we know what outfit of the military he served in. They don’t look all that similar, but w/ the constant changes in artists I could forgive that. Dead/Alive makes it seem like they met each other at a park or something, somewhere out in the real world and not in Silent Hill, but I can’t tell if those are supposed to be Ken’s father’s memories or Ken’s idealistic manifestation of how his parents looked and met. I don’t think that one could argue either way, aside from the fact that this is considered a “stand alone” comic and that would entail it not being connected to the other—which is proved wrong by Paint it Black. Paint if Black is about Ike the painter from Dead/Alive, but Paint it Black is still called a “stand alone”.
Whatever, it doesn’t really matter to me. I kind of like keeping Among the Damned as far away from Dead/Alive as possible.
SILENT HILL: AMONG THE DAMNED RATE: 5/10
It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t compelling either. It was not one way or the other. If you are considering getting any of the comic’s I’ve reviewed so far, I’d go for this one.