When we last left Legacy of Violence, we met Dr. Nick Shaw. Dr. Shaw recently had a rather traumatic experience at his latest job at a hospital in Atlanta. A seemingly deranged and bloody patient came into the hospital. Cuts all over his body. In his frenzy, he stated that the wounds were NOT self-inflicted. Upon Shaw introducing himself to the patient, he proclaimed to know him and then attempted to throttle him. Right up to the point before he died. But not before leaving him with a cryptic message: Unit 731.
It was this message that triggered a memory with Dr. Shaw from his youth. He was staying with his grandparents, and they were acting strangely. As he listened to their conversation, he heard his grandfather also mention Unit 731. Whatever it was, it appeared to be bad. But that was not the end of it. While exploring the attic, young Nick found some home movies. One was labeled Unit 731. He spooled it up and watched in horror of whatever was on the screen. But that was long ago.
New Scene, Same Story
The recent incident DID prompt Dr. Shaw to seek a change in environment. Soon he found himself in Honduras, serving with Doctors without Borders. Surely, he could escape such unpleasant memories and do some good. It seems reasonable, but what kind of story would THAT make. Instead, once again a patient comes in, with multiple cuts on his body. Bleeding profusely and apparently out of his mind. At least THIS time, he doesn’t seem to recognize Dr. Shaw. But he does expire right after mentioning once again the cryptic Unit 731.
Another hospital, another bloody victim. In Honduras, that is the stuff of sustenance for the many insects that inhabit the place. But that is par for the course in the hot climate and is hardly noticed. But a bloody and cut up body IS. What could have happened to this man? Doctor Patel, the facility head, doesn’t seem as shaken as his co-workers. Apparently, it is not the first time that something like this has occurred. Not EXACTLY like this but similar.
The Sheriff Arrives
As for Doctor Shaw, who heard the whisper once again of Unit 731, he wondered if he was alone in hearing it. Apparently, Shaw was the only one, but he was not the only one interested. The local Sheriff had arrived and identified the young man as Jorge, who had been missing for a few days. The Sheriff stated that Jorge had not been a bad kid. A few scrapes with the law but nothing serious. The Sheriff WAS interested in what Jorge might have said before he died.
Realizing he was alone in hearing it, Dr. Shaw erred on the side of caution and proclaimed he couldn’t make it out. At least until he had a better understanding of what the hell was going on. Meanwhile, the Sheriff asked Doctor Patel if he had told his staff about the murders and the killer who was still on the loose. He admitted he hadn’t broached the subject yet. Not with this recent event so fresh.
The Sheriff, however, was not so reluctant. There had been three murders so far. All of the victims mutilated with their assailant still at large. With Jorge, that makes four. As the group soaks this all in, the Sheriff slaps at an insect that was on his neck, leaving some of the insects engorged blood on his hand. Ewww. This however, triggered a flashback for Shaw. He was in a hospital, suffering from some kind of infection. His grandparents had brought him. Soon, Nick’s father arrived wanting to know from his parents what had happened. At that moment, Nick awoke and whispered out “Unit 731.”
A Good Week
Fortunately, the rest of the week seemed to go by without any further drama. The doctors treated their patients and came to the end of the week feeling fairly good about themselves. As long as the four murdered victims and the killer on the loose weren’t considered. They gathered at a local bar to celebrate a good first week, at least as far as Doctors Williams and Shaw were concerned. However, Dr. Williams still couldn’t dismiss the rather large elephant in the room. Four dead people and the perpetrator still at large. She HAD to talk that up, didn’t she?
Until it Wasn’t
As the Doctors drank, someone screamed out from outside the establishment. They burst in, asking for a doctor. Just so happens there were four of them at hand. Upon stepping outside, they found the source of the alarm. A car was parked with the skin of a body lying on the hood. A face, the torso, arms and legs separated and displayed. Each sliced off with a surgeon’s skill.
Playing to an Audience
As they surveyed the scene, one thing had become abundantly clear. Whoever was doing this wanted them to see their work. They brough the victims to them. Which meant they were likely still around to watch. Shaw called out to the killer to show themselves. Not that he expected that to happen.
But the horror wasn’t quite over yet. The victim whose skin had been peeled off stepped out of the car. Bloodied and in pain as one might expect. He collapsed on the ground as he rounded the back of the car, covered in blood. When the doctors ran to his aid, Dr. Shaw noticed the car’s license plate. It read UNT 731. The mystery deepened…along with the blood.
We are two issues into A Legacy of Violence and the creative team of Bunn and Mutti have laid the groundwork for a tale that fans of Romero and Creepshow would feel right at home with. In just the few glimpses we have seen of the person behind these crimes, it has been revealed that he is skilled with a blade and insensitive to the suffering his “science” reveals. But he is not without some theatrical flair. As the Doctors assume, he WANTS his handicraft to be noticed. Even if that means bringing the show to the audience instead of the other way around.
Following the “Bloody Breadcrumbs”
That alone screams the macabre. But then Bunn and Mutti throw in a huge dose of intrigue about the mysterious Unit 731. What is that connection between Nick’s grandparents and what were those involved trying to accomplish? Now you have a book that is “dying” to be read while at the same time, leaving a trail of bloody breadcrumbs to challenge the reader to decipher “What the Hell is Going ON!?” For this kind of tale, you can’t ASK for anything more.
Mad Cave Studios A Legacy of Violence, Issue 2 by Cullen Bunn and Andrea Mutti can be found now at Mad Cave’s Subscription Site.
Senior Writer at GeekVibesNation – I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 18 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.