Comic Book / North 40

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Comic book miniseries from 2009, written by Aaron Williams and illustrated by Fiona Staples. It could best be described as "magic hillbilly superheroes fight Cthulhu."

It starts off with a couple of high school kids in a small town getting an eldritch spellbook through Interlibrary Loan. They read it, everyone blacks out, and when they wake up, the county is cut off from the rest of the world, and half the people have been turned into monsters. Some people use their new abilities to do evil, some to do good, and some just focus on trying to live their lives as normally as they can.


This series provided examples of:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Wyatt Hinkle and Amanda Walker are both looked down on by the other townsfolk. Wyatt because they perceived him as a hick trying to rise above his station and therefore the rest of them, Amanda because she's biracial. They're both altruistic forces in the story regardless.
  • Animal Eye Spy: Luane, a waitress at the diner, is able to see through the eyes of birds, squirrels, and cats. She can also control them to some degree, and she's prone to fainting spells whenever an animal she's possessing gets killed.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Once the chaos happens the townsfolk all settle into their same cliques but much more unscrupulous. There isn't much screentime minding anyone reacting to the changes, everyone just sorta rolls with it.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The deforming transformations are not accidental, they were deliberately inflicted by Dyan to torture the town and sow chaos.
  • Big Bad: Dyan is a misanthrope that hates the town and is the cause of the deformations suffered in the series. Most of the beneficial superpowers and the town being sealed off are attempts to counter her actions.
  • Body Horror: So many characters, ranging from serious villains to everyday folks in the background.
  • Closed Circle: The borders of the town are sealed off from exit. Luane's animals die when they try.
  • Cool Old Guy: Sheriff Morgan is one of the older characters in the series and kicks as much ass as anyone.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Wyatt is given the choice between using his powers to save the town and the world, or leave them to destroy themselves after their mistreatment of him. He chooses the former.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Downplayed; It's implicit that the awakening of the Eldritch Abomination is an eventuality, but the piece of it being stirred awake is before such a time, and is preventable.
  • Deep South: Conover County seems to be set in a generic version of the South.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The climax of the tale has something very much like Cthulhu preparing to rise from a local lake and getting punched back into its endless slumber.
  • Extra Eyes: One of the customers in the diner ends up with eyes all over his forehead. Miss Sparks insists he's a demon, but he just wants his cup of coffee.
  • Eyeless Face: Granny Atterhull, the matriarch of the Atterhull clan, has her eyes replaced with what look like sea urchins.
  • Flight: A number of characters get this power, but Wyatt Hinkle is the most prominent one.
  • Flying Brick: Wyatt is empowered with the general powerset of flight, super strength and high durability as a designated defender against the more monstrous townsfolk.
  • The Fundamentalist: Miss Sparks, who runs the diner, assumes almost all the transformed townsfolk are in league with Satan.
  • Goth: Dyan, pictured above. She helps start everything off by reading from an evil spellbook.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Sheriff Morgan is willing to threaten to shoot a mook to make a point, Amanda is sardonic and threatening even while rescuing people, and Marguritte is cryptic and pragmatic witch. They're all more or less heroic and working to prevent great evil from prevailing.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Chtulhu like Eldritch Abomination is the driving force behind all the evil in the series.
  • High-School Dance: The dance turns into a bloodbath when zombies invade and the monsterized classmates start tearing them to pieces.
  • Humanoid Abomination: So very many characters.
  • Humongous Mecha: Local junkman Denny Pittman starts building them.
  • I Love the Dead: A bit of a reversal. Jenny is in love with Bradley. She dies and gets turned into a zombie. She pursues him to the point where she corners him at a dance and makes out with him.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Almost everyone has one.
  • Magic Pants: Averted; Dave ends up naked with his pants tied around his waist after his transformation. Afterwards he's seen with pants clearly made from multiple pairs sewn together from multiple pairs along with an ill-fitting A-shirt too small to cover his midriff, and he's constantly barefoot.
  • Mass Superempowering Event: It kicks off the series. Spells are recited, everyone passes out, and afterwards, half the citizenry have monstrous superpowers.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: After transformation a lot of the townsfolk develop appetites and are wont to devour each other.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Wyatt Hinkle and Dave Atterhull, though Dave is probably a bit less invulnerable than Wyatt.
  • Older Than They Look: Marguritte De Vris and Sheriff Morgan are both a few centuries old.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Jenny is explicitly stated to be different from the other zombies — she raised the rest of them from their graves, and she's far tougher and more intelligent than they are.
  • Papa Wolf: Do not threaten Wyatt, his father will literally raise up the earth to devour you.
  • Playing Against Type: Writer Aaron Williams is best known for more light-hearted comics like PS238, Nodwick, and Full Frontal Nerdity.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Denny Pittman's giant robots all have severed, screaming human heads as their power sources.
  • Sequel Hook: Dyan sends out an enthralled Stacy into the world, cursed to afflict more people and send them back to town or she dies.
  • Super Strength: Dave Atterhull is immensely strong and built like a tank.
  • Sinister Scythe: Amanda Walker carries one around. She uses it as her magic staff.
  • Sinister Surveillance: In place of her own eyes, which are gone, Granny Atterhull now sees through the eyes on pictures of her. She has her grandson print up lots of them so they can be posted up everywhere.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The book that gets the whole story started. It's cover is fleshy and has blinking squid eyes.
  • Ungrateful Townsfolk: After saving Prom from an invasion of zombies all the witnesses pin the blame on Wyatt to the Mayor, who organizes a posse to convict him. None of them care for the protagonists to maintain order and stop evil and turn tail immediately when threats show up.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ComicBook/North40