The Nice House on the Lake Book One is published by DC Black Label, an imprint of DC Comics, written by James Tynion IV, with art by Álvaro Martínez, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by AndWorld Design. When Ryan Cane is invited to a luxurious location for the summer by a distant friend, she throws caution to the wind and dives right in. After the most trying year of her life, Ryan thought staying in paradise with some mysterious people could be fun. What could go wrong?
The Nice House on the Lake Book One tells the story of a group of individuals with one thing in common, Walter. The oddly elusive friend has invited 12 people to spend the summer in a beautiful mansion situated on a lake. Each individual has been assigned a symbol and a code name. It all seems too good to be true…
Tynion is pumping out horror comics like a man possessed. Between Something is Killing the Children and Department of Truth, it’s a wonder he has more stories like this up his sleeve. But my word, the golden goose just keeps laying golden eggs.
Tynion’s story opens up with the lead character Ryan recalling the summer she first met Walter, and at the time, it all seemed pretty innocuous. However, the contrasting visuals tell a very different story as Ryan has a bandage around her head, as the background around her is smothered in flame.
Therein lies another joyous element of this debut issue, the art. Martínez has a unique style in his perspective where the subtext of the image adds extra depth to the story’s narrative. So when Ryan recalls the summer when she first met Walter, we get our first visual. A man with sunglasses, somewhat bathed in the light of the bar and somewhat submerged in the shadows of the corner he lurks from. The neon light reflected in his sunglasses creates this foreboding visual as Ryan talks to him that he is studying her answers very carefully. Martínez also demolishes his assignment in creating the lake house, and the interior aesthetic that reinforces this heavenly getaway is perfectly captured.
Bellaire’s colors are flawlessly in sync with the artistic visuals. The colors capture the tone and tension of each scene. Our characters pop, with bursts of sporadic color, while the background scenes are bathed in a delicious and relaxing light. That being said, in those moments of horrifying tension, Bellaire brings the terror in buckets.
AndWorld Design’s lettering is fantastically implemented. The placement of the dialogue keeps the pace of the story, and when someone is talking forcefully, it is clearly seen and known.
Listen, the ending itself, wow! I had literal chills. While as a reader you begin to piece the plot together, I can promise the ending will not be anything you’re expecting. It is actually chilling.
Overall, if you’re a fan of Tynion’s most recent work, then you won’t be disappointed with this latest addition. A mystery from the beginning that will keep you guessing, but with a bone-chilling ending that leaves you with more questions than answers. Tynion and his creative crew exemplify how to introduce a brand new story to the comic masses. A superb read, with the promise of the start of a stunning series.
The Nice House on the Lake Book One is available now wherever comics are sold.
The Nice House on the Lake Book One
Overall, if you’re a fan of Tynion’s most recent work, then you won’t be disappointed with this latest addition. A mystery from the beginning that will keep you guessing, but with a bone-chilling ending that leaves you with more questions than answers. A superb read, with the promise of the start of a stunning series.
Aaron is a contributing writer at But Why Tho, serving as a reviewer for TV and Film. He is also the co-host and social media manager of the Nerds Social Club podcast.
Hailing originally from England, and after some lengthy questing, he’s currently set up shop in Pennsylvania. He spends his days reading comics, podcasting, and being attacked by his small offspring.