Rachel Rising

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The comic book Rachel Rising (not Rachael Rising) is a horror comic series by Terry Moore. What is intriguing about Rachel Rising is that, the genre being horror, it is not something that Terry Moore has anything like before.

The story begins with a woman named Rachel, who was strangled and buried in a shallow grave. Her eyes are red from burst blood vessels, and her skin cold due to a slow heartbeat. Somehow, this is tied to a mysterious woman, a spirit, who appears whenever someone is about to die.

Oh, and Rachel can predict a person’s death as well.

The comic is violent and edgy, as a horror comic story should be. The majority of the main characters are women, which is typical of Terry Moore. Women are Moore’s specialty. The men are illustrated fine, but not always great. There is also a young girl that plays a key part in the story, but there is always something awkward about the way she looks. O assume it is the challenge of drawing children. Overall though, the drawings in Rachel Rising are excellent, and there is some amazing use of texture as well in most panels.

The story pacing sometimes feels wasteful. There is sometimes very little to look at in a panel, leading to the reader finishing the page quickly. This is a shame, because Moore apparently spent a ridiculous amount of time making every scene beautiful. Whenever there is a closeup of a woman’s face, the precision in the illustration is so accurate, it is eerie.

Terry Moore is also not afraid to confront rape in his comic book stories. In Rachel Rising, the previously mentioned little girl almost ended up living with a child molester. During another scene, an accident victim finds someone to drive her home, only to find that person with his hand up her skirt. And in yet another, someone reveals that a girl was gang-raped in the woods for being “the pretty one”.

Rachael Rising

As much as I would like to reveal details of the twists and secrets of the storyline, I would rather you discover them first hand. If I could, I would insist you read them. The story is conveniently broken up into volumes, published as individual graphic novels. At the time of this writing, you can buy them here at a cheaper price than Amazon. (Affiliate link.)

The Characters

Rachel Beck is undoubtedly the most interesting person in this series. To start, she can be thought of as a typical girl on the surface, but the plot unravels to reveal that she is much more than that. A courageous and resolute heroine who never gives up fighting even when confronted by things beyond her imagination. Rachel also has a strong sense of individuality, coupled with a quick and keen intelligence which makes her a captivating character to identify with or even like.

One of the vital and key figures in this series is Jet, the best friend of Rachel. Jet is described as being very assertive and practical, without any room for nonsense or fear to say what she feels. She has an unswerving loyalty to Rachel and does not mind risking her life for her safety. Jet’s hard shell and no-nonsense stance complement Rachel’s character, who is characterized by vulnerability.

Lilith is one of the most captivating characters in Rachel Rising and is the major antagonist of the series. She is a potent, devious witch who has an unwavering desire to end the world. Her actions are merciless and sly, always wielding her powers over others to have them under her command. Lilith’s history and motivations emerge slowly throughout the series, creating a complicated character whose dynamic nature keeps readers engrossed.

Rachel Rising is richly endowed with a supporting cast, all of whom contribute to the multi-faceted narrative. A perfect example of one such character is Zoe, Rachel’s little sister who has her own supernatural abilities and is wrestling with them. Thanks to Moore’s superb talent in story development, Zoe undergoes a gradual change over the course of the series from a normal teenager to an independent and empowered young lady.

Lastly, let us now meet the baffling Dr. Siemen, who is a scientist studying supernatural powers in Manson township. Dr. Siemen is a man of mystery, with his intentions and desires left undisclosed, contributing to his element of suspense and marvel.

The Artist

Moore’s technique is identifiable and conveys a certain nuance to the engaging tale. He is able to capture facial expressions and body language, which effectively portray the characters in their own right. The way he plays with shades and contrasts suggests an eerie ambiance that well befits the fright factors in the narrative.

One of the distinguishing features of Moore from other writers and artists is his skill in creating profound yet accessible female characters. Rachel, Jet, and Zoe are not minor elements or love themes but complete individuals with specific motivations and challenges. Among Moore’s creations, the depiction of female friendships represent another striking aspect in the series, highlighting the enduring bond between them during a situation none could have ever dreamed of facing alone.

Besides his stories, one can say that Moore is a true artist as well, and his commitment to the craft is something worth mentioning too. He publishes through Abstract Studios, so he has the final say in all of his work; this setup gives him total artistic freedom. It also implies that he does almost all things alone, from writing to drawing, lettering, and coloring, so he could be classified as a genuine solo creative force.

Moore’s passion for his work is evident in every page of Rachel Rising. The series ran for 42 issues, and each one is filled with intricate details and careful storytelling. He also takes the time to interact with his fans and answer their questions, showing his genuine appreciation for their support.

Rachel Rising received critical acclaim and has gained a dedicated following, with some even calling it Moore’s magnum opus. It has been nominated for multiple awards, including the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series.