Route 666: Highway to Horror
by Tony Bedard, Karl Moline
(CrossGen, 2003)

My first foray into the not-quite-Earth of CrossGen's universe was the horror series Route 666. The first collection from this series, Highway to Horror, introduces Cassandra Starkweather, a young and beautiful college girl who goes crazy and begins a cross-country killing spree.

Or not. Cassie sees dead people, usually just before their spirits are whisked away to Perdition by inky-black ghosts of the Oogie Boogie variety. She also sees monsters -- typically vampires, werewolves and such from the classic cinematic tradition -- who are posing as normal people and helping the dead and mostly dead to cross over into their hellish domain.

Most of these ghosts and monsters don't like the idea of a girl running around who can see them. And they want to stop her permanently.

But it's hard to sell your story to the proper authorities when you have a mass-murder rap on your back. So Cassie runs, picking up occasional allies like her long-dead grandfather and a rail-jumping serial killer.

Highway to Horror is a great introduction to a series that has a lot of story to tell. The book is creepy and violent, but not in the visually grotesque manner so popular these days. The major characters are fully drawn, and the art is good. It makes me want to spend more time on Route 666 -- and delve a little more deeply into the CrossGen world.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 3 May 2003

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