Past life memories are often portrayed in a positive light in modern storytelling, that is definitely not the case in REGRESSION #2 from Image Comics. Cullen Bunn continues to be the indie darling of the month with the second issue in the tale of Adrian Padilla, a young man who after a hypnotherapy session is having a past consciousness infringe upon his own. Adrian is slipping further down the rabbit hole into insanity while the memories and impulses of a killer slowly take over his mind and body. When a truly horrific memory is thrust upon him Adrian’s consciousness is pushed aside and the killer is loose. After a wild afternoon of assault and solicitation Adrian finds himself on the wrong side of a badge asking questions he cannot answer.
The first issue of Regression was a solid set up but issue #2 really sets the tone for this series. One part police procedural and one part a demonic Fight Club style split personality horror book, Cullen Bunn has crafted a wicked little story about completely losing control of one’s self. The depravity that this past soul engages in vacillates between the kind of power fantasy we all wish we had and unrepentant torture. Adrian himself plays the nice guy and these two polar opposites make for some dynamic storytelling. How this past life ended, the images involving some kind of cult, the meaning of the insects… all of these questions remain to be answered which makes this one of those comic that you wish you had the next issue ready to read immediately when the final page closes.
The unsettling imagery supplied by artist Danny Luckert compliments the script perfectly. The character art is really something special and I found myself repeatedly flipping through the pages to soak it all in. Special note has to be mentioned regarding the few pages that depict a flashback to what appears to be the source of this evil soul. The effects used on those pages are really amazing and truly stand out. REGRESSION #2 is a good comic from a writer that is really spreading his wings at this time. I think that any fans of the HBO show True Detective or fans of murder mysteries in general will find something to love in this series.