Red Room (2021) #3

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Creator Ed Piskor once again surprises and (with qualifications) delights with Red Room. He’s on the third issue, and it’s an entirely different angle on the story, focusing on the FBI investigating the Red Room.

There are some backstory details in the issue as well, like the Red Room being around since the mid-nineties in some form or another. The FBI interrogates a serial killer who tells them about it in a very Piskor meets “Mindhunter” scene; given the grotesque nature of the comic, it’s weird to hope Piskor figures out a way to do a Windows 95 flashback to show what the heck they could’ve been doing with dial-up.

The issue introduces the first “good guy” in Red Room, hacker Levee Turks. He’s got a life sentence in federal prison until the FBI shows up pleading for help. He designed the anonymous web-hosting software used for the Red Room (not for that purpose), and they want him to crack the code. He’ll have help, too, even if they don’t realize it, because his significant other, Rita, is also a programmer. She just makes comics collecting software.

After a lengthy, mostly comedic but also beautifully drawn homecoming sequence, Rita realizes the Red Room is far worse than they thought, and they really do need to help the Feds bring it down.

There’s a big twist at the end—and it might get even twistier—but since it’s Red Room, who knows if Piskor will be back to these specific characters to unravel it. Instead, they might fade into the background for a while. Even when you know what to expect from the comic in terms of gore, Piskor can still surprise with the plotting.

Excellent characterizations and dialogue sequences (the interrogation sequence is particularly fantastic). Piskor is doing some great work here.

One Comment

  1. Vernon W

    Piskor does perhaps a history making balance between what is an excellently produced, entertaining comic sharing existence contrasting with some of the most repellant subject matter and characters as I’ve ever seen in comics. While not for the faint at heart (or perhaps folks that have never experienced extreme horror), Red Room treads the line between the worst of humanity along with an addictive plot that displays fictional horror not only at its worst, but also the demonstrating the easy plausibility of its contents in real time. Scary and realistic, the fine line here between reality and nightmares has been totally blurred.

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