Thousand Faces is perfect mix of western and horror genres – as if life in the ‘Wild West’ wasn’t hard enough without the addition of supernatural horror. The story revolves around the demonic titular figure, a disembodied soul who can possess the bodies of humans and creatures, by reanimating their corpses with a transfusion of his own blood.
In this story he faces two generations of western colonist: a London surgeon called Quinn, who meets and studies under Thousand Faces in one of his guises as an innovative doctor in the early days of medicine – a profession with a good supply of corpses. Quinn escapes to America where he heals a wounded Sioux chief, who then embraces Quinn as one of his tribe. Quinn passes his fight with Thousand Faces down to his adopted son, who falls in with Sioux when they raid the colonist wagon train that the boy’s family is travelling with.
The story is fast-paced and dramatic, jumping around in time to present new revelations and tense, dreadful encounters between Thousand Faces’ minions and our main protagonists. It also has a great ending, with a few surprises saved for the book’s gripping resolution.
The illustration has a solid European feel to it, laying its French bande dessinée roots out for all to see – there’s a realism to the backdrop and characters that helps add depth and finesse to an already appealing horror story.