Epeolatry Book Review: Dead by Daylight #1 by Nadia Shammas, Dillon Snook, Emilio Lecce
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Title: Dead by Daylight #1
Author: Nicole Shammas
Art: Dillon Snook, Emilio Lecce
Publisher: Titan Comics
Genre: Horror Graphic Novels, Media Tie-in Graphics
Release date: 14th June, 2023
Synopsis: When the rebellious FRANK crashes into the lives of JULIE, JOEY, and SUSIE, together they’ll unleash bloody chaos onto the sleepy, dead-end town of Ormond.
A tie-in story has to accomplish two things simultaneously: appeal to new fans unfamiliar with the franchise and engage existing fans. I have played Dead by Daylight (DBD) a fair bit, but I will discuss the comic as I think it would appear to new fans before discussing it as someone who plays the game it’s based upon.
The artwork is enjoyable. It’s full of bright colours and each page has a variety of angles, points of view, and panel designs that add variety and engagement. The gore is light, but the masks are creepy enough to be unsettling.
We are introduced to the four characters, Frank, Julie, Susie, and Joey. Frank and Lisa get the most attention, leaving Susie and Joey a little underdeveloped, but this is only the first issue. The group decide to “leave their mark” on the sleepy little town of Ormond in an unsettling fashion, and even without knowing the game, it’s plain to see that things will only get more intense. I definitely want to find out what happens next.
As a fan of the game:
I started playing Dead by Daylight when my husband tried it and knew that its brand of campy, but disturbing, horror would be right up my alley. The game is simple: Five people compete online. One plays the killer who stalks the other four who must complete a series of tasks, and then escape before the killer murders them all. It’s basically murder-hide-and-seek. There are a variety of killers and survivors to play, some based on popular franchises, and others that are original creations. These games are played on an endless loop to feed a being known as “The Entity” that subsists on the emotions of the players.
The game is fun, but what really makes DBD shine is the lore and mythology. Each of those survivors and killers has a rich, complex backstory that players can unlock by completing challenges. I soon became engrossed in the lore surrounding my favourite characters. The characters in this comic series are known in-game as the killers called “The Legion”. I must admit that they are killers that I have not played (they cost extra) and not always my favourite to face in-game, but as a story, I am interested in how they came to be The Legion.
There is nothing of the Entity in this first issue, but knowing what’s to come adds another layer to what would ordinarily be another tale of dysfunctional teens up to no good. I know that somehow, they turn into a gang of ruthless killers who end up as playthings of the Entity, and that journey is what I want to explore in further issues.
This first issue will appeal to both people who are new to Dead by Daylight and hardened fans looking to explore the mythology further.
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Melody lives in Ontario, Canada and writes short, dark fiction. She has been published in several anthologies and online publications. In university, she studied Ancient Greek and Roman Studies and often infuses her work with elements of Greek mythology. She also loves reading, embroidery, and martial arts. You can follow her homepage at: https://www.blog.melodyemcintyre.com/