If you have seen The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It–now in theaters and on HBO Max–you will remember the sequence where Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) investigate the brutal murder of a woman named Katie (Andrea Andrade). It seems to echo the main film case in which a man claims demonic possession caused him to kill. A new comic mini-series The conspiracy: the lover delves into this storyline further, offering a prequel to the events seen in the film while also helping to launch DC Horror’s new imprint.
In fact, The conspiracy: the lover is the first DC Horror miniseries; it will feature five issues and the first is now available digitally and in comic book stores. If you’re curious, this doesn’t sound like a rushed Warner Bros. link; it’s co-written by the guy who wrote The Conjuring 2 and The Conjuring: Le Diable made me do it, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, with Rex Ogle (Free lunch, Death of Wolverine: Life After Logan, Teen Titans). Art is by Garry Brown (Baby tea) featuring Bill Sienkiewicz’s main cover, a VHS tribute cover variant from Ryan Brown and a “1-in-25 ‘ratio’” cover variant from Garry Brown.
To flesh out the story of Katie, stabbed 22 times by her friend Jessica (Ingrid Bisu), The conspiracy: the lover jumps back in the timeline a bit to take us to Danvers University in Connecticut, where Jessica reluctantly returns to study at the behest of her mother, who also pushes her to find a boyfriend. However, Jessica seems rather nice to Katie, which is very clear as the story continues, which makes the fact that she would end up killing her all the more confusing. Where he would have, if the comic book did not also show us the sinister influence of the occultist (played by Eugénie Bondurant in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It), which deals with poisoning the minds of people in the name of making them perform ritual sacrifices. In fact, let’s go back. Here are the first two pages of the comic, which makes it clear that this is a horror tale.
Sinister! After Jessica catches her roommate having sex with a guy in their not-so-spacious dorm, Jessica walks over to the library, where something… dark approaches her. Something very, very, dark. With bright red eyes.
As if the library isn’t full of malicious waves enough to support its own Conjuring film, Jessica decides to do her laundry in the shaded basement of her dormitory, which also seems to be populated by rodents and evil spirits. What luck! While viewers are already familiar with the tragic endings that await Katie and Jessica, it certainly looks like The conspiracy: the lover will roll out a few surprises along the way, as well as some sufficiently gruesome artwork. The atmosphere is incredibly dark– without the comforting presence of Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are still there in the essentials Conjuring films to fight against malicious forces, The lover is possibly the darkest story we have drawn this universe. Everyone is just … doomed. DC Horror brightens the mood a bit with fake ads, tricking readers into buying set top rings, ghost vision glasses, etc. the fine print carefully note “jokes are real, products are not” –that evoke classic horror comics.
If the main storyline looks like another example of Conspiracy series teasing one of its own tangents – see: The nun, the Annabelle movies, etc., you would be right; is there something more about the mark for the Conjuring universe than a prequel comic probing a subplot of a three-sequence movie? What if this comic also included standalone stories inspired by the haunted artifacts (like, ah, Annabelle) that are locked in the Warrens’ storage room? The first issue explores writer Scott Snyder’s mysterious coin-loving ferryman (Dark Nights: Death Metal) and artist Denys Cowan (Material, The question: The death of Vic Sage), with following issues to feature new stories by different creative teams. Maybe now we’ll finally have the story of this bizarre samurai armor!
DC Horror plans to announce more titles in July that will launch in October; The conspiracy: the lover # 2 is coming July 2.
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