2000AD, out now
Shane Holt comes home after eight months inside and finds that there are worse problems on the “Cradlegrave” estate than ASBO teenagers, drug runners and other assorted criminals.
Cradlegrave appeared across twelve issues of 2000AD, but its almost claustrophobic pull works much better in this omnibus, as the gradual deterioration of the estate becomes almost palpable as the summer goes on. Barriers break down as the heat and dirt seem to get inside everyone’s souls.
And that’s before we really find out what it is that is inside Ted and Mary’s council house. Smith and Bagwell delay the reveal for some time, relying on the readers’ imaginations to paint a picture that ends up being nowhere near as gross as the eventual depiction. But where the creators really score is in making the reader sympathize with the horror that is infecting the estate…
Verdict: Filled with imagery and ideas that resonate long after you finish reading it, Cradlegrave is urban horror at its finest. 8/10