|This article is about the 2014 comic series. For an overview of all comics, see The Evil Within Comics.|
- "Here's a big box of toys, now go play."
- ―Shinji Mikami setting Ian Edginton to work with reference material
The Evil Within (comic) is a comic series written by Ian Edginton and published by Titan Comics, making it's debut in November 2014. Set three years prior to the events of The Evil Within, the comic centers around college student Dana Robinson, who finds herself thrust haplessly into a strange and nightmarish world on her way home after dropping out of her university following what she believed to have been the abduction of her best friend.
On a dark, stormy night three years prior to the events of The Evil Within, university student Dana Robinson was headed for Pine Lakes on the West Coast with a stack of missing persons poster of her best friend when her car suddenly ran out of fuel. Failing to get a signal on her phone, Dana exits her car and approaches a nearby diner, where it quickly becomes apparent that nobody is around, and something else isn't quite alright either. Spotting a cloaked figure outside, Dana rushes after them looking for answers but instead runs into a panicking man, who tells her to run as he flees from his grisly pursuers.
As they run, the pair find themselves confused as to where they are, and Dana is briefly distracted by an apparition of Kate standing among the creatures chasing her. Soon after, a dazed Dana is showered by bright light before waking up in what appears to be an asylum wing, where she is greeted by a nurse, who informs her of her friend's apparent demise. Another beam of light blinds Dana, who finds herself taking shelter with the man from before in an abandoned hospital. Before they could find out more, the duo finds themselves chased by The Keeper, whom they manage to cut off by running through a trap-laden hallway. The man then introduces himself to Dana as Paul Carey, custodian of Krimson City General hospital; Paul was taking a nap during his night shift when he found himself waking up in the diner from before, where he is suddenly surrounded by the transformed people who chased him in the woods. Dana told him her part of the story, about how her friend disappeared in front of her, and how nobody believed her about it. Their conversation is cut short by a sudden earthquake, stranding Dana and Paul in the wrecked remains of a large city.
Trying to get their bearings, Dana and Paul ventured into the ruined city. They come across another duo of survivors, a flight attendant named Ruth Shaw, and her companion Jack. Via Ruth, the pair learn of their whereabouts: an East coast town called Silver River, of which she is a native. Both Ruth and Jack found themselves in this twisted world in the same manner Paul and Dana did, and the survivors opted to band together to try and find a way out of the city. As they walk along the street, Dana eyes a ruined toy store with several dolls spilled out onto the pavement, which she finds familiar. Seeing one of the dolls triggered a flashback to the day her father bought her one, though being a small child at the time, Dana instead threw a fit and demanded him getting her a nicer one, briefly blaming him for her parents' divorce. Having promised to buy Dana a new doll, Ray accidentally worked himself to death trying to make ends meet, by falling into large machinery at his workplace after long hours of overtime.
Snapping back to reality, Dana finds Ruth staring at her doll and learns of their mutual love for it. She also learned of their disturbingly similar past, but before she could dig deeper, Jack alerts the team of a lighthouse in the distance. As they investigate the building, the survivors stumble upon a large room with corpses hung from the ceiling, their blood having pooled up into a large puddle on the ground. With a blood-curdling screech, a grisly figure emerges from the pool and gives chase. Dana and the gang retreats through the building, narrowly avoiding many of the traps set around the premises before emerging out into a void. Jack proposes they try leaving via the power pylon nearby, but Ruth hesitates due to her vertigo. Before Dana could help her, a large clawed hand impales Ruth through her chest and tosses her off of the pylon to her death. The pylon itself starts crumbling as well from the combined weight of everybody, leaving Dana with little time to get to safety before she goes down along with it.
To the Slaughter
The Evil Within recieved overall positive reviews, with review aggregators such as ComicBookRoundup citing a critic score average of 7.8 and a user rating of 10 for Titan's compilation. Critics complemented the compilation for it's detailed and engaging art style, as well as it's pacing and character development, with Front Towards Gamer describing it as "a unique standalone story that requires no knowledge of the game to enjoy", Comic Wow citing it as "a well-written story with relatable characters and visually arresting monsters. 9 out of 10", Entertainment Buddha officially describing [it] as "one hell of a read for anyone who loves horror", Samuel Cline specifically describing it as "horror, cranked up to eleven". Dean Fuller of Nerdly described the series as "fast and furious", though gave it an overall rating of 2.8 out of 5, stating that it was his belief that it wasn't particularly innovative. Destroy the Brain described it as "perfectly timed and paced". The style was heavily praised by Comic Bastards and Big Comic Page, remarking that "Alex Sanchez excells during the horror and action scenes; a fun read" and "Sanchez’s art and layouts do a great job of recreating the hazy, disjointed nature of nightmares".
Out of all the issues, the first issue recieved the most criticism, generally considered to have a somewhat "rushed" feel upon individual examination, believed to be better complemented by it's fellow issues in the compilation.