Kolchak, The Night Stalker: Monsters Among Us
by Christopher Mills &Tim Hamilton, David Michelinie & Don Hudson (Moonstone, 2009)

My second excursion with the Moonstone incarnation of Carl Kolchak, paranormal journalist, was the double-fisted collection, Monsters Among Us.

The first tale, "Night Stalker of the Living Dead," is exactly what you'd expect it to be, based on that title. Kolchak heads to the fertile fields of Nebraska to interview a pop star at a corn festival and finds himself up to his ears in zombies. OK, they're not technically zombies, as he explains with unfailing patience; while these shambling, cannabalistic grotesqueries are the more familiar form associated with so many classic zombie films, true zombies are a product of voodoo. Anyway, none of that matters when they're trying to eat your face, and that's what they're doing here as Kolchak's pop princess turns into a scream queen. Cool stuff.

The second tale is the inaptly named "The Frankenstein Agenda." It's a good yarn, starting off with suspicions of Sasquatch in the Pacific Northwest and turning into a whole 'nother kind of creature feature of the "secret military science" kind. My only issue with the title is my assumption that the "Frankenstein" reference led me to expect some kind of reanimated corpse, possibly involving assembled cadaver parts. Phooey. But don't sell this futuristic Man-Thing dude short, especially once the orangu-dogs make an appearance. Woohoo!

I like Kolchak. And the folks at Moonstone are doing him up right. Nice job, people.

review by
Tom Knapp

7 August 2010

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