Silent Hill: Dead/Alive
Writer: Scott Ciencin
Artist: Nick Stakal
The back cover misspells “murderous” as “murderess”.
Our comic begins with Christabella summing up some of the backstory on how Silent Hill was once a nice, quiet little town until The Order fixed all of that. “They made it into my kind of town.”
The first monster we see besides Christabella is one of those Siamese twin monsters from Silent Hill 4: The Room, but don’t get excited about seeing any of the characters from that game in this book.
It’s vague, but the comic seems to imply that Christabella can only visit the Otherworld in Silent Hill when she’s asleep. She is still trapped in the nice and fake version of the town that her older sister Lauryn trapped her in.
Suddenly, we cut to Ashton, Vermont, where a young woman, Connie, is shopping. We get to read excerpts from her diary (???), where she laments that she loved someone so much she thinks it cost her a piece of her soul. That’s not good. “Makes me wonder sometimes what I am now.”
Connie spots a woman that she knows named Mary-Louise. She’s quite the gossip, launching into the exploits of bad boy actor Kenneth Carter. “You know they’re calling him a young Leo now…”
She says that Kenneth is still with his “pill-popping slut girlfriend” after he broke up with Connie.
A darkness begins to encroach upon Connie, and the words “Empty vessel” are written all over the products on the shelves. A monster grabs her, but Mary-Louise doesn’t see it. She does, however, see the name “Silent Hill” written on the floor. What follows is some incomprehensible dialog from her: “Shit and two is eight… Connie!”
Back in Silent Hill, Christabella is still being escorted by the late Troy Abernathy. Christabella looks out her window and sees Lauryn macking on some guy.
Christabella falls asleep. When she wakes up, the fog is back. I realize that the previous books never really emphasized that fog when it was one of the game series’ trademarks. Christabella sees a Pyramid Head on the streets. Sigh.
Christabella needs Lauryn’s spell book to take over Silent Hill, but it’s in her room, and it’s heavily locked.
Christabella steps onto the streets and tries to command some monsters, but they hurt her. She can actually feel pain. She has a pulse. “I don’t want to be a real girl!”
She’s alive again, but still has her gaping stomach wound? Whatever.
Meanwhile, Kenneth is showing one of his films to his girlfriend, Jessica. In the film, a man sacrifices himself to monsters to let his son go.
We are introduced to Kenneth’s dog, Bear, and Kenneth’s hobby of collecting creepy paintings. Uh-oh.
Kenneth receives a call from a private investigator. Don’t get excited about that either, because it’s not Douglas Cartland from Silent Hill 3. Kenneth has been spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to try and track down his birth parents. So far, no dice.
The private investigator didn’t call to report on Kenneth’s parents, but rather that Connie is missing. Jessica immediately gets jealous and Kenneth briefly sees her without most of her face.
Back in Silent Hill, Christabella looks for Lauryn, but just finds an unseen speaker. They tell her that she was bad because she tried to take the power of The Order’s god for her own. They want to dispose of her, but she tries to strike a deal…
Kenneth retreats to the bathroom. When he sees his reflection in the mirror, he sees blood pouring from his eyes, but it’s just blood on the mirror. The room undergoes a transformation as the blood flows from the walls and the walls turn into meat. This is one of the rare times when a place’s transformation into the Otherworld is actually portrayed in Ciencin’s Silent Hill comics.
Kenneth notes that his house looks like a place in one of the paintings. In his gallery, all of the canvases have transformed into pure light. That’s a trippy idea that I actually like.
Bear leaps into one of the canvases for some reason, and then some chick named Lenora appears. She knows that Connie is missing and Kenneth wants to find her, but she has a price: “Something new is coming to make this world bleed. I’m the messenger. You are the one who waits. And you have a part to play.”
She assigns him the role of a killer. The twin victims come for him.
“Struggle all you want, Kenneth. But remember: Life is an illusion.”
He loses consciousness and finds himself on the streets of Silent Hill. He is not alone.
“Mister? Would you help me?”
Christabella asks for help, claiming she’s lost. Kenneth agrees to help her.
Kenneth narrates that, even in this unfamiliar situation, all he can think about is Bear. He encounters a giant, fat monster with beef jerky on its person (a reference to how beef jerky could be used to lure monsters in SH3? I never bothered with that). The monster threatens Bear, but he’s not afraid. The monster recognizes this (!), so he gives the jerky to Bear.
As Kenneth and Christabella wander through Silent Hill, they briefly pass by Brookhaven Hospital. Christabella complains that she’s hungry, so they enter a movie theater. Ghosts are floating around in there, phasing through the walls.
Kenneth finds some candy called Dizzees for Christabella, saying that the dates are good. He knows that Christabella’s looking for her big sister, Lauryn, somewhere in Silent Hill.
Christabella knocks some papers over. They’re full of information on Kenneth when he was a child. There is a picture of him looking bloody. He didn’t remember half of those events happening; he always had missing time.
“A birth certificate. Was that me? My real name before I was put up for adoption? Joshua Reynolds? I’ve spent a hundred thousand in detective fees just this year trying to find out anything about my parents, and this… Who owned this place?”
Monsters corral the duo into the auditorium, where a disturbing film is being shown. It shows Kenneth holding an ax. Then, Connie’s face appears on the screen. Her skin sprouts boils and (sigh) tentacles. “Under your surface, Kenneth. That’s what this is all about… Your accepting not what we’re trying to make you… but what you’ve already become.”
Back in the real world, Kenneth’s agent, Abel Moore, stops by Kenneth’s house because he blew off a meeting earlier that day. He’s a bit indisposed.
Abel enters the bedroom and encounters a horrible sight – an ax plunged into Jessica’s skull. There’s a message on the wall written in blood: “HERE LIES JESSICA ALDRICH AN ANNOYING LITTLE WHORE WHO GOT WHAT SHE DESERVES I AM COMING KENNETH WITH BLOOD ON HIS HANDS COMING COMING
Kenneth saw all of it through the screen. “Connie” is actually Lenora, and transforms her looks to appear like an actress straight out of a 1920s film.
Suddenly, Troy is here for Christabella. Lenora didn’t know that Troy was still in Silent Hill as a vestige of Lauryn.
Troy acknowledges that Kenneth is here as well. “The pawn. You should be eliminated as well… You and everything you brought here with you.”
Meanwhile, Bear perceives a threat from the horrible cannibal vampire dogs from SH4.
Troy corners Christabella and Kenneth, but the little girl realizes that she has a fragment of Lauryn’s power now that she’s back to life. Lenora didn’t plan for that, either. “Your sister’s power – no!”
Christabella tries to burn Troy, but using these powers takes too much out of her and she faints. Kenneth picks her up. Lenora tells him to leave her, but he refuses because the powers that be are afraid of Christabella.
More monsters appear, and the little girl warns Kenneth that she won’t be able to use her new powers for a while. Kenneth thinks they’re done for, but then a voice says, “Yo, dude, don’t say that!”
“The name’s Ike Isaacs.”
Now this comic is truly horrifying.
He rescued Bear and has one of the vampire dogs standing next to him. He says that he did the paintings that Kenneth likes so much and that Lauryn sent him to help. Someone (I can’t tell who) says, “Groovy”. How dare you take a Bruce Campbell one-liner in vain. Random pop culture references are random.