Cover to 'There's Nothing There' #5. Art by Maria Llovet/Black Mask

Cover to ‘There’s Nothing There’ #5. Art by Maria Llovet/Black Mask

By Clyde Hall. A creepy island estate owned by a mysterious figure who hosts hedonistic parties amidst velvet, veiled allusions to mystic forces as ancient as they are malevolent. Lovecraftian, much? But no. This is 2017, and the heroine here embraces the only-as-relevant-as-your-last-tweet cult of celebrity while navigating perilous pap pitfalls and working to ensure her own star burns bright but not fast. As a horror series, There’s Nothing There stands fresh, frank and fastlane. Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer, updated for premium cable to lustily indulge everything network TV can’t.

And as the series concludes with issue #5, Patrick Kindlon and Maria Llovet race rashly and recklessly towards the series’ confrontation between timeless evil and the strong, savvy young woman unwilling to be anything’s pawn. Short on plan but long on attitude, Reno isn’t above clocking an eldritch nightmare with one hand and flipping it the bird with the other. All while her bestie Celia takes a smartphone video to share online.

Interior pages from 'There's Nothing There' #5. Art by Maria Llovet and Jim Campbell/Black Mask

Interior pages from ‘There’s Nothing There’ #5. Art by Maria Llovet and Jim Campbell/Black Mask

But attitude only takes you so far, and there’s a price to be paid for making demons do a doubletake. Kindlon never loses sight of this cost, even as he spins dizzying, lightspeed dialogue that brings chuckles amid the violence and horror. As current as its heartbeat is, the story still comes down to a smart, slick celeb, her few close friends, her seasoned housekeeper, and a Missing Persons detective facing off against a cult and the dark Thing they’ve summoned.

It’s a headlong drive to the final conflict, as unflinching in its path as in its resolution. And it’s fearless writing, the seamy giving way to the altruistic in unexpected ways. Llovet’s art style is equal to the honesty. Her unique shading adds to her overall tapestry as it captures the ugliness of the everyday world behind the glamour of the Beautiful People, and the supernatural aberrations forcing their way into our reality. The conclusion satisfies without being simplistic, delivers poignancy sans Pollyanna. The Old Ones would give it a Facebook like, and a Share.

Black Mask/$3.99

Written by Patrick Kindlon.

Illustrated by Maria Llovet.

Letters by Jim Campbell.

7 out of 10