Horror is a favorite genre across media and that includes comic books. DC Comics led the way with some amazing horror stories brought to the pages of their comics and illustrated brilliantly by their illustrators. Some of the stories were spooky, some were scary, and others were downright chilling.
Some DC Comics horror stories can leave readers uneasy, as they tackle some disturbing themes. These comics use horror much in the same way other comics use action to illicit a response from the reader. In the end, these are some of the best comics for those who love horror.
10 The Nice House on the Lake
This comic by James Tynion IV follows a group of friends who accept an invitation to stay at an acquaintance’s lake house. When they arrive, the world outside is plunged into chaos, and they are trapped with no way out.
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The story tackles several types of horror, including psychological, cosmic, and apocalyptic horror. The Nice House on the Lake creates a tense atmosphere as the characters confront their own mortality during a breakdown of social structures.
9 House of Secrets
Debuting in 1956, House of Secrets didn’t start as a horror title. The series focused on science fiction and superheroes, because the Comics Code Authority prevented horror stories from being released in mainstream comics. However, once those rules were relaxed, House of Secrets found new life.
After initially being canceled in 1966, the series was brought back as a horror anthology hosted by a character called Abel. The series was known for introducing the character of Swamp Thing well before Alan Moore’s epic run in the 1980s. Unfortunately, House of Secrets was a casualty of the DC Implosion, and it was rolled into The Unexpected.
Deadman tells the tale of a ghost who can possess the unsuspecting and lead them to violence. Deadman is dead, obviously, but the curse he carries, and his own tragic history are the truly horrific parts of his story. Still, he’s able to use mindfulness and kindness to work alongside other heroes.
Deadman Vol. 2 is where the story truly delves into the character’s origins. This series is a haunting tale that evolves into a supernatural epic.
7 Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing launched DC’s horror comics revival, leading to the popularity of future titles like Sandman and Hellblazer. Alan Moore’s work on Saga of the Swamp Thing perfectly complimented the artwork of great illustrators like Stephen Bissett and John Totleben.
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Swamp Thing created a legacy of terrifying stories influenced by the line of horror comics DC was focused on at the time. The popularity of this series is why horror comics fans have so many great choices from DC today.
While Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed series, Sandman, may have transcended the horror genre, many of the tales in his series had some truly horrifying elements. Whether it was a doctor causing people at a diner to do unspeakable things or deadly boys returning from Hell, this series embodies horror at its best.
This series is much more than a chilling collection of frightening tales. Some of the most talented comic book artists in the world wanted to work on Sandman to add their talent to the horror elements being presented.
5 American Vampire
As one of the classic horror antagonists, adding a vampire to DC’s Gods and Monsters phase made total sense. That’s where American Vampire comes into play. The series delves into the hidden world of vampires and their experiences as members of the undead community.
American Vampire is an Elseworlds story, so it’s not connected to the larger DC universe. However, it provides a different experience for readers and presents a wonderful opportunity for a broader anthology.
4 The Demon
Created by Jack Kirby, the rhyming demon known as Etrigan has been causing mayhem throughout the DC universe for years. When Etrigan combines with Jason Blood’s humanity, the pair become an antihero that has been able to transcend the pages of comic books.
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The original run of The Demon focused on superheroes, while a later run delved more into Arthurian legend. The series is humorous while still being eerie. Levels of deceit and magic shaping the character’s origin story.
3 Forever Evil
Forever Evil is a unique horror story because it doesn’t feature any supernatural creatures. Instead, the fear factor stems from an overwhelming sense of despair after Earth’s protectors suddenly disappear. It’s not the first DC title to feature an evil version of the Justice League, but the Crime Syndicate is particularly sinister.
Classic horror themes are woven throughout the series. Bizarro looks similar to Frankenstein’s monster. Deathstorm provides a spooky ambiance as a blazing skeleton. It’s some of Geoff Johns’ best work as a comic book writer.
The comic book series features the Devil, himself as the central protagonist. Building off themes covered in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, Lucifer saves its horror elements for the right moments. Then Lucifer does something truly terrifying that reveals his stature and power.
Lucifer also adopts several characters that were introduced in Sandman and gives them more character development. Lucifer remains one of the most spine-chilling DC characters whether the title character is involved in the action of his book, or just overseeing it.
The longest running DC horror comics series, Hellblazer focused on John Constantine in his battle with demons and monster. Constantine first appeared in the Swamp Thing series as a British Occult specialist before getting his own title. Hellblazer ran from 1988 until 2013.
While the series started with heavy political overtones, the creators found a way to not distract from the horror aspect and the evils that terrorized the world. In one story, Constantine tricked infernal factions to cure lung cancer to avoid a war being fought over his own soul.
This Halloween, DC fans should check out these creepy, scary, spooky comics. Read More