Legendary Comics; $29.99

October is the time for mischief and magic, tasty treats and spooky thrills. And that’s exactly what readers will find in the Trick ‘r Treat Omnibus.

Trick ‘r Treat is based on the movie of the same name written and directed by Michael Dougherty. The horror anthology tells four frightening stories set on Halloween night in one otherwise normal town. Starring Anna Paquin, Dylan Baker, and Brian Cox, among several others, the movie was released in 2007 and has gone on to cult status among horror and Halloween movie fans.

The omnibus’ first four issues, written by Marc Andreyko, are a faithful adaptation of Dougherty’s movie. Readers are treated to stories about the importance of checking Halloween candy, how quickly pranks can backfire, spotting the difference between predator and prey, and the importance of following the rules on Halloween. During each installment the unsettling impish figure of Sam, the spirit of Halloween, watches over its participants.

The second batch of four issues, titled Days of the Dead, are new stories by Dougherty, Andreyko, Todd Casey, and Zach Shields. Sam takes readers back through time with four new chilling tales. The romance between old world lovers takes a dark turn, Western pioneers learn the dark side of the frontier, horror noir comes to 1950s Los Angeles, and pranksters are taught a lesson in a small town.

Anthologies are very popular in the horror genre but so few are able to interweave the stories in a way that unfolds organically rather than forced. They also struggle with keeping the quality of each story on par with the others, which often results in one or two good stories, surrounded by others that are just okay or flat out bad. That’s not the case with Trick ‘r Treat. It succeeds in smoothly connecting the stories and each one is just as good, just as wild, just as scary as the last one. That translates very well to the pages in this book.

The Days of the Dead stories are connected by Sam, but spread throughout time. They don’t use twists as much as the original stories, rather packing a mean punch where revenge and retribution are concerned. They are all shrouded by the spirit of Halloween.

Different artists tackle the art duties, ranging from EC-like pops of color and shadow to whimsical almost storybook quality. The multiple art styles give each issue its own tone, but is not drastic enough to distract from the connection to the larger story.

Now is the perfect time to grab a comfy blanket, some apple cider, and dig in for some excellent scary stories in Trick ‘r Treat.

-Amanda Sheriff

It is now available on the Legendary Comics website.