In the rustic hills of a small New England town lies the prestigious Miskatonic High School. When the school’s Community Service Club goes on a field trip they are launched on a terrifying adventure that will change the lives of each school student – and unleash an ancient evil upon the modern world. That’s what the brief reads.
More accurately, Miskatonic High #1 is a cavalcade of unexplained circumstance befallen upon the pretentious elite. A walking introduction of the strange and bizarre that bears as close a resemblance to Lovecraft as it does Scooby Doo. What we have here is the whacky reinvented for a newer generation. A generation that spends more of its time locked away for hours surrounded by Fortnight and BOOM! Studios comics than it does dusting off their Marvel Silver Age collection.
Miskatonic High #1 kicks off with brief introductions of each student within the Community Service Club. The group, accompanied by their teacher Mr Walid, head to the home of a local elderly woman (name unimportant) to clean up her basement. What follows is a chance discovery of hallucinogenic mushrooms. The gateway drug into the what-the-fuckery that follows as the students fall deep into the rabbit hole.
As the students come to they realise they are in (what looks like) Egypt or Babylon and a couple of well placed pop culture references later they stumble across an evil wizard uttering incantations. Amidst a cacophony of post-millennial speech bubbles, the incantation brings forth a Gorgoroth that takes all of the students in its tentacles. All before a convenient feline familiar recommends stabbing the Gorgoroth with an ancient blade.
Escaping back to the room from whence they appeared. The students flee the Gorgoroth before uttering some incantations into the evil wizard’s book. Complete with one of the student’s own blood. Reappearing at the bottom of the old woman’s basement where Mr Walid recommends leaving. The last panel ends this issue with some ancient incantations from that other world (hidden behind one of their backs).
Miskatonic High #1 plays a neat little introduction to the creepy and bizarre world of the Community Service Club students. While the familiar trope of teenage mystery solvers is inherent throughout the issue – the comfortably Lovecraftian mood injects fresh blood into this supernatural mystery. Its a fun read and easy to power through. You’d swear it was published by Archie Comics.