Issue #3 of Reanimator is another mixed bag. It starts out a bit weak, but I will admit that it gets better toward the end, and even has me looking forward to the next issue.
But first, a recap. Last issue ended with Susan discovering that Herbert West’s hulking reanimated assistant, The Valusian, was none other than her dead fiancé, Nathan just in time for him to die again! Then she was kidnapped by the Eldritch Krewe. Issue #3 opens with West negotiating for Susan’s safe return. The syndicate wants West to come work for them full time manufacturing the drug Eunique, but West is able to offer their leader, Croceus Rex, something he wants even more instead. Quick side note: Croceus Rex in this scene is wearing a yellow loin cloth over a normal pair of slacks. Which I guess is a really good way to let us know that he’s crazy. Susan goes back to West, and is promptly chloroformed for her trouble. Some people just can’t catch a break. She wakes up strapped to a gurney in West’s lab. West reveals that he also has Samedi chained up in there, and now it’s time for boring backstory wherein we learn what really happened the night that Nathan was murdered. And I don’t care about it at all. This whole plotline has been handled so poorly, and yet it’s supposed to be a driving factor in Susan’s motivations. I know nothing about Nathan except that he was her fiancé, and now he’s dead. Okay, this issue gives us some background on him, but it’s really too little too late. The important bit is that Nathan was murdered by the head of the GrisGris Boyz, a rival syndicate of the Eldritch Krewe.
Then West does something really bizarre, which is saying a lot for him. He hands Susan a gun, gets on his knees in front of her, and tells her that if she wants to kill him for turning Nathan into The Valusian, then that’s cool. Uh, okay. Obviously, he figures she won’t do it, but still. Seems like an awfully big risk. Also, he claims that Susan has been the experiment all along whatever that means and says that he’s been manipulating events so that she can take back her life. Sure, West. Whatever you say.
Despite the problems, this issue is better than the last. West is in it quite a bit, Croceus Rex and his bizarre fashion choices is pretty entertaining, and there’s some good buildup to the next issue. But, as has been the case throughout this series, Susan continues to be a weak link. She could have been a good character, but the dead fiancé angle just doesn’t work for me at all, and almost all of her characterization is done via narration box.
As I’ve said before, if you’re a big fan of the Reanimator movies, and are genuinely curious about this comic, then go for it. But as for the rest of you it’s not really worth it.
Reanimator #3 is now available from Dynamite Comics.