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is an ongoing, monthly horror comic published by Avatar Press
, written by David Lapham and illustrated by Gabriel Andrade. Set in the small, remote town of Cypress in Minnesota, the story starts with the murder of police officer Dale Chesnutt's best friend. While the attack looks like the work of an animal, its brutality suggests a human cunning and malevolence. Dale quickly becomes entangled in the world of the ferals, a race of deadly and aggressive werewolves who have taken a supreme interest in him for reasons that have yet to be divulged.
This series provides examples of:
- A Real Man Is a Killer: The men, and probably most of the women, of Bergen believe this to be true.
- Asshole Victim: Mark, Dale's best friend and the first victim of the ferals, is almost universally loathed by the rest of the town and view him as this.
- Blondes are Evil: Gerda is not a good person. At all.
- Body Horror: It's not clear at all what's inside Gerda's womb, but all signs point to something very nasty.
- Cain and Abel: Gerda murders her sister for sleeping with her husband.
- Censor Shadow: Used on Dale when he is injured (and naked) in the hospital and crawling towards the closet containing his street clothes.
- Covers Always Lie: While the covers are true to the spirit of the series, and therefore pretty honest, they never reflect the actual content of the story.
- Cult: The town of Bergen looks and acts like an extremely conservative, Christian sect. While nothing specific has been said about who or what they worship, the subtext is clearly there.
- Deadpan Snarker: Dennis Chicker, the town coroner, never seems to change expression and is always ready to deliver an cutting remark. That being said, he is frequently ready to help Dale, even if it puts himself at risk.
- Determinator: Not even an arm in a cast, a punctured lung, 8 broken ribs, and internal bleeding can keep Dale from escaping from a hospital, via the third story window.
- Eye Scream: When Dale rips out the eye of the feral attacking the police station.
- Fat Bastard: Gerda's husband, Christopher.
- Gorn: This series ratchets the blood and gore up to eleven within the first 6 pages of issue 1.
- Healing Factor: Ferals naturally have this as an ability.
- Lady in Red: Gerda Ingebritsen may be an extreme case of this, considering how quickly she seduces Dale.
- Madonna-Whore Complex: The people of Bergen take this viewpoint to an extreme.
- Offing the Offspring: Gerda murdered her son, a toddler.
- Oh Crap: First happens when Dale sees his fingernails have turned to claws. However, considering the number of curve balls the series sends his way, it is certainly not the last.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Besides being violent, powerful, and smart, they do not appear to rely on the full moon, are vulnerable to traditional forms of injury, and have been described in universe to look like a wolf, a bear, and a gorilla all mashed into one. The resulting creature has humanoid elements, but moves like a wolf and leans more towards the dire wolf flavor of lycanthropy, albeit one on serious steroids.
- Red Right Hand: Ferals all seem to have unnaturally sharp fingernails (unless they trim them down), which can make them easy to spot.
- Really Gets Around: First night we see Dale he manages two hookups, and it isn't implied to be a rare occurrence for him.
- Shirtless Scene: Dale is prone to walking around without a shirt. Helps him show off his back tattoo.
- The Men in Black: Shoe and his partner.
- Town with a Dark Secret: Bergen, Gerda's hometown, is one.
- As the series progresses we find out there are multiple 'feral' towns spread across the upper West Coast and Midwest.
- Viral Transformation: Sex with Gerda has infected Dale with something that is turning him into a feral. However, this is only an initial, partial transformation. Consuming the blood of a full-fledged Feral will turn him into a ravenous monster.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The audience never finds out what happened to Mark and Jackie's kids after both their parents were brutally murdered.