Hello, my friends. We’re halfway to Halloween and the annual terror continues to climb. As such, welcome back to my review of the independent series known as…
This time around, we don’t have a made-up movie poster that inspires our next comic cover. As such, let’s start diving into our featured issue.
Here, we go with a dynamic cover as our titular creature is right in front of an unfortunate person. Believe it or not, we’ll finally get the main reveal of our main monster. As usual, we’ll get to that when it comes along. For now, let’s continue our main tale of aquatic terror.
Part 3 of our main story opens with our two familiar newspaper reporters (whose names are Drayton and Pete) comparing each other’s stories before they ultimately decide to meet up with Pete’s brother, Detective Wayne Price, and get their discovery analyzed.
We then cut to the amusement park where Kenny returns to the dilapidated cave. He discovers some eggs resting within the dense grotto before he’s forced to retreat due to him also discovering the titular creature. Upon returning home, he tells his older brother Leon about his discovery. After a short while, they decide to meet up with their friends.
We then cut to Detective Price and the two reporters arriving at a laboratory where they give their goop to a scientist named Shep. On his initial analysis, he states that the sample in unlike anything he’s come across and it appears to come from something that’s part-fish and part-mammal. When he also comes across some mercury in the sample, he tells Detective Price and the reporters that he’ll need a overnight session to come up with more thorough results.
We then cut to the private office of Mr. Kettle where his assistant named Pasterak tells him of some procession inconsistencies. His boss thinks that he’s being blackmailed and greatly threatens him to stay away from that course of action. After striking Pasterak, he takes his leave.
Over with Katie and Bobby, they proceed to pick up Shelly in order to continue their search. They talk to Tiger’s many friends around town, but none of them had seen him or Cheri. Afterwards, Shelly tells his friends of something that he learned from Goady, which involved Tiger doing some business over in the flats. Finding a big break, they proceed to make their way over there.
Meanwhile, Leon and Kenny meet up with their friends. They proceed to tell the gang about what he saw over in the dilapidated cave over at Euclid Beach Park, with Kenny going into detail of the things that he came across. When one of their friends suggests that they capture the monster for a huge reward, Kenny believes that it’s a good idea as long as they’re all in on this plan. The scene ends with them agreeing to meet up again at dusk.
That night at the flats, two hobos are talking about beans. All of a sudden, nature calls for one of them as he excuses himself to care of his personal business. However, something sinister lurks nearby as he relieves himself.
Suddenly, the hobo finds himself under attack as our titular creature finally reveals itself and goes in for the kill.
Meanwhile, Katie, Bobby & Shelly arrive at the flats in order to properly continue their search. Suddenly, they hear a vicious scream as they close in to investigate. However, what they find proceeds to send chills down their spines.
They come across the Lake Erie Monster itself as it violently rips the hobo apart. Suddenly, it notices our three heroes watching from afar.
And so, Part 3 ends with the creature giving chase. Fortunately, our threesome manage to get back to the car and drive away to safety.
We then move into the third episode of “Commodore’s Cleveland” where our ol’ pal Zombie Perry tells us a tale of “PsychedelliDoodles”. It tells the story of Devon “Dev” Lowell, a political cartoonist for the Cleveland Press. His early days material from 1967 wasn’t exactly glowing to the public, but it was a fateful drug trip in early 1968 where some LSD inspired him to create something unique. After showing it to his editors, the one-panel titular strip debuted on July 18. After a while, he stopped showing up for work and mailed his strips to the newspaper for them to publish. There were even rumors among his fellow workers that he had even joined a cult. By 1969, his work continued to get more bizarre and weird. By the time that his final strip was published on May 1, 1970, the paper had gotten complaints from the readers concerning the adult & offensive content. However, he continued to show off his work on the streets, starting in July 1970. Through time however, the strips had become very twisted with nonsensical text. When fellow reporter Frank Downs checked up on him on March 12, 1971, Dev’s friend left covered in blood while speaking the incoherent text that the strips came with and ended up spending the rest of his life in an asylum. Lowell’s final piece appeared on March 13, 1971 before he disappeared from existence. Over the years, his work has been collected in books and his original pieces had gone for lots of money.
We then move into our backup story called “The Bumble Run” where we begin with a group of people driving in a van towards a certain destination. A guy named Wally is among these guys and is looking to join them. The leader tells him that in order to be a part of their group, he’s got to do the titular “rite of passage”. It consists of traversing through a swamp while you’re completely naked, touching a white tree and then head back. However, the police are constantly inspecting the area, so he’ll have to quickly complete the task.
They arrive at the swamp where Wally proceeds to remove his clothes and begin his “Bumble Run”. While he goes through the process, he’s unaware that this whole set-up was entirely made up. After Wally touches the white tree, he turns around and heads back.
He manages to get back to the van, but he discovers that they’re not present there. Not only that, but they’re not even hiding inside the vehicle.
To make matters worse, a patrolling police officer arrives on the scene and catches the naked Wallace Kollack. He tells the official that he thinks his friends are pulling a prank on him and that he hasn’t taken any drugs or alcohol. As such, the cop decides to go over to his trunk in order to cover him up with a blanket.
However, the officer suddenly vanishes as well. A distraught Wally starts freaking out and yells for his “friends” to cut this out.
Just then, the headlights on both the van and the police car go out as he suddenly hears creepy noises and sees sinister red eyes. They call out to Wally who runs away in terror and fright.
We then cut to an undisclosed time later where a group of young women are traveling to the same swamp. Supposedly, we learn that Wally was found in the woods while in his screaming stupor and ultimately spent the rest of his life in an asylum. It turns out that a lady named Beemer is going to end up taking the “Bumble Run” in order to officially be initiated into their group.
And so, the story ends with her stripping down and heading into the swamp. As usual, she’s unaware that the group believes that the tales are just made-up. However, Beemer arrives back after touching the white tree and discovers that the group has mysteriously vanished.
We then move into the issue’s final part where we’re introduced to a bonus segment called “The Commodore’s Parlor”. Here, he teaches the reader about a new version of hide-and-seek called Pruey. Taking place in a huge house filled with numerous rooms, a group of people hide and must not make any noise during the game while the person who’s “it” must traverse the house with all of the lights off and while having a paper bag on their head. Whoever wins that round is “it” for the next round.
Overall, this issue is just OK. The main story reaches its halfway point and it’s only able to move some plot threads along. The reveal of our main monster is the main highlight as it does look terrifying, but there’s not much else to this story. Now that we know what the Lake Erie Monster looks like, the plot should be picking up steam. Our third outing into “Commodore’s Cleveland” is fairly interesting with an artist who descends into madness and insanity alongside his artwork. His own projects ended up getting him a cult fan base, but his own sane mortality ended up being the price. As far as our backup story goes, it’s up in the air for me. Whether the mean-spirited gangs are actually pulling some elaborate prank on their unsuspecting victims or the supernatural forces are scooping up the humans and forcing them out of their territory, it’s kind of hard to make it out since there’s no background information on the particular swamp. Maybe if it had been built up as a place where both scenarios are possible, then it could be a much tighter story. The artwork for this particular tale is fairly simple, consisting of mainly black with only pink, red, yellow and light blue. It mainly highlights the parts of the story that deserves our attention and it mainly works there. For the final part, it’s very humorous in introducing a hide-and-seek variation. If anyone had ever attempted this particular game, please comment on your experiences. I’d like to know how you felt. In the end, this issue is a mixed bag with both stories being somewhat weak while both of Zombie Perry’s entries being the best part of the comic. Come back next time as our heroes prep themselves for the Lake Erie Monster and ultimately deal with it. Other tales will follow, so see you next time.