We’re past the halfway point and our titular monster has finally shown itself to the select few of Cuyahoga Country. As such, it’s time to look at our cover to see what’s in store for us this time.
As a sign of things to come, it depicts our titular creature attacking Leon, Kenny and their friends. The final pieces are moving into position, so let’s dive in and see how they come to pass.
Part 4 of our main story opens with Tom Russo having finally developed the pictures taken from Tiger’s camera. Deep within the dark room, he finally has his eyes opened to the seriousness that’s in store.
Meanwhile, Detective Wayne Price is with newspaper reporters Drayton and Pete as they piece together all of the known sites for animal attacks and missing persons. They’re shocked to discover that these incidents have occurred along the Cleveland coastline within the span of several weeks.
Suddenly, Det. Price notices a sizeable gap between the incidental areas. His brother Pete tells him that it’s the same area as Euclid Beach Park, thus figuring out its hideout. The scene then ends with Tom coming in to give our three gentlemen the fully-developed pictures.
At the same time, Katie, Bobby and Shelly are freaking out after they just escaped from their encounter with the titular creature. With the dire situation at hand, Katie suggests that they go see Detective Price, to which Shelly and Bobby instantly agree to.
We then cut to Euclid Beach Park where Kenny, Leon and their friends have crept into the desolate grounds in order to hunt down the Lake Erie Monster. Most of them brought bats and sticks, but their orange shirt friend named Tony brought a weaponized cocktail called “Maul-It-Off”.
Back at the police station, Katie, Bobby and Shelly have arrived to tell Detective Price about what they saw, but a police officer at the front desk refuses to get him unless he hears their story first. As such, Katie storms past the counter in order to find him.
With the two groups together once again, Katie proceeds to tell Det. Price and the reporters about what she and her friends saw. Wayne believes their story and even shows them Tiger’s picture of the Lake Erie Monster, to which Katie and her friends confirm as the same creature from their encounter. She also get the realization that her older sister Cheri is most likely dead from the initial attack. When Det. Price says that it’s hiding out at Euclid Beach Park and that he’s heading out to that area alongside the reporters, Katie says that she wants to come with them. However, Wayne refuses to put her and her friends in jeopardy. However, she’s more than determined to see that this aquatic creature gets its comeuppance. The scene ends with Det. Price allowing them to come, but only if they follow his instructions.
Meanwhile, Kenny, Leon and their friends continue their search. Just then, one of the young boys notices a frog doll on the ground. He goes to pick it up and claim it as his own, but it turns out to be a grave mistake as the Lake Erie Monster creeps up on him and viciously slashes his head off.
As such, the boys find themselves under attack. With their friends brutally killed off, Kenny and Leon are forced to run for their lives.
Meanwhile, Det. Price and company arrive at the outskirts of the park. Shelly is a little nervous about the situation, so Wayne tells him to stay behind as he proceeds to break down the locked gates to lead the group inside. However, he manages to build enough courage as Part 4 ends with him joining up with the gang as they head towards the final showdown.
We then proceed into our back-up story called “Matinee” where we’re introduced to an unnamed guy whose checking out a film called “Don’t Go In The Yard” over at a rundown one-screen movie house called the Paris Revival Theatre. The building is going to be closing soon, so he wanted to get at least one more flick in. Even better, he’s the only person in attendance for this showing.
As the movie is playing, another person comes in and sits three rows ahead of our unnamed man. After he notices some abnormal movements of the stranger’s hat, the mysterious figure then gets up and heads towards him. After approaching his row, the figure then tells him that he’s going to die before he begins his attack, completely revealing himself to be a slimy, grotesque being.
Terrified at what’s attacking him, our unnamed protagonist runs for the doors. However, he discovers that it’s locked. Even worse, he left his coat behind and it had his cell phone in it. As such, the ghoul proceeds to destroy it. It then says that the theater staff is aware of this and they also locked the fire exits. It turns out that these doors won’t open until our unnamed guy is killed.
From there, a fight ensues as our protagonist is forced to fight for his life. During the scuffle, he manages to dig his thumb into the ghoul’s eye socket and partially dislodge his eyeball. After a while, both of them become exhausted from the scuffle and are forced to retreat to opposite sides of the theater.
As our unnamed protagonist sits to gather both his strength and thoughts, the ghoul proceeds to tell us about himself. It turns out that he’s doing this gruesome supernatural killing spree for 160 years and that he must get this kill in order to continue being as close to human as he can.
While he’s hearing the conversation, our protagonist has been secretly preparing his own attack. Thanks to him having done some grocery shopping prior to his arrival at the movie theater, he takes out his D-Batteries and places them in his sock. As the projector begins the movie’s final reel, the two of them proceed to engage each other in final battle. We learn from the narration that our unnamed guy prevailed as he viciously hit the ghoul repeatedly with his make-shift weapon to death.
And so, the story ends with our protagonist heading back to his seat and wait for the doors to get unlocked by watching the rest of the movie while numerous thoughts danced around in his head.
By the way, the movie he was watching is yet another made-up film whose poster is part of the “Ten Imaginary Movies” gallery. Nice touch.
Our final tale brings us to the fourth episode of “Commodore’s Cleveland” where our favorite ghoul weaves us a story of “The Phantom Galleries”. Over at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Zombie Perry talks about a certain wing to the building that can only be accessed on happenstance. Inside, the pieces start becoming strange, obscene and grotesque. For one unnamed woman, she entered this wing and couldn’t find her way back out since the way that she came in has suddenly disappeared. She wandered around for what seemed like an eternity until eventually, she finally came out. However, she emerged petrified and her sanity was long gone by that point.
Overall, this feels like a fairly good setup for our main story’s climax. Our main characters are now in one place and ready to deal with the aquatic terror, the build-up felt solid and the tension is all set. Everything has come together for one last explosion of horror. As far as the backup story is concerned, it’s serviceable. The idea of being trapped in a room with someone who wants to kill you is always a fascinating idea. However, seeing how fairly simple it was to take out the main villain, a few questions circled in my head. How did this creature come into existence in the first place? How was it terrifying enough for the theater patrons to give into its sadistic demands? Also, since it existed as long as it did, did no one ever fight back against it with any melee weapon? Either way, sort of a lame antagonist for this issue’s back-up story. However, the yellow tint for the majority of this story is nice in a similar way that the color green was to issue two’s backup tale. The main hero is somewhat engaging due to the resourcefulness that helps him out in the end, but there’s not much else about him that stands out. As far as Commodore’s Cleveland is concerned, it’s more of a novelty tale. Even though it takes place in an actual building, this feels more like it came from the terror dreams of the warped psyche than anything that could somewhat be related to actual reality. Still, the demented artwork in those galleries were fun to look at. Well, there’s one more issue to go and it’s time for Cleveland to make a stand against the Lake Erie Monster. How will our human heroes fare against this aquatic terror? Find out when we reach Halloween. Until then, see you around the C-Cubed.