When we last left A Legacy of Violence, the killer who tortured his victims had struck once again. For the Sheriff who was investigating these crimes, it was no coincidence that the Doctors without Borders seemed to be around at every incident. The stress was getting to Dr. Nick Shaw, so he was sent to take a day off from the clinic to decompress. But instead of going home, he wandered the streets, looking for the person responsible. He found him. The masked man told him that they had some work to do. Whatever THAT meant.
Back in his Room
Dr. Shaw was back in his room at the hospital. He was still showing the wear and tear of his conflict with the masked killer. Nick had just stood up from his bed when a gentle knock was heard from his door. He opened it to find Dr. Andrew Smith standing in his doorway. Andrew had said he heard the creaks of the floor as Nick had been ambling about. But now, he couldn’t help but notice the disheveled look of Dr. Shaw, and the bloody cloth laying on the bed. What had Shaw been doing?
That’s NOT Your Job
Nick explained that he had encountered the killer. Although in truth, the killer had found him. There had been another victim. But when he had informed the Sheriff, he had gone to the scene of the crime and found nothing. The masked killer had obviously taken the victim. Not that the Sheriff had probably believed him. As for Andrew, his problem wasn’t that Nick had encountered the killer, it was that he took it upon himself to pursue him. That wasn’t his job. He is a doctor and “he’s here to help people.” He should concentrate on fulfilling that noble calling.
Calling Dr. Smith
That morning, Nick attempted to follow Andrew’s advice. Trying to concentrate on helping people at the clinic. As he was making his rounds, Dr. Williams asked Nick if he was feeling better after his day off. He told her he THOUGHT he was. He apologized as he knew the stress had got to him. She understood. Sooner or later, it gets to all of them. As they conversed, Dr. Patel approached asking them if they had seen Dr. Smith. Andrew was supposed to be at the clinic that day, but he had not shown up. Nick told him he had seen him last night but not at all since then.
The Work Continues
Meanwhile, in some undisclosed location, the masked mutilator was back at work. Or to be more specific, he was directing someone else in his work. A patient (or victim) was being sliced open. Without the use of an antiesthetic. At least that is what the screams would imply. The masked man tells him to continue with the incisions. Telling him that a “little peek-and-shriek” never killed anyone. His victim might disagree.
Back at the hospital, Nick and Cayce decide to visit Andrew’s room. Upon opening the door, they find the room in shambles. As they look about the room, they also notice blood on the wall. Something bad had happened here. As they surveyed the mess, they decided that it was once again time to call the Sheriff. Nick sends Cayce to retrieve him. I guess cell phone service in the Honduras would be expecting too much.
As Dr. Shaw waits for the Sheriff’s arrival; he sees an older man. A man who seems to know him by name. Nick asks him if he can help. The mystery man replies that he deserves no help. Not after what he had done. Nick tries to steer him inside the hospital, if for no other reason than it is cooler inside. Perhaps get him some water. The man refuses, telling Nick not to touch him. Anyone that touches him is marked, for death follows him. Nick wonders if he means the masked man. Had the old man seen him too?
As he continues to question the man about the masked assailant, he replies that it is too late for Nick. He knew what they did, and he knows where to find the man. Nick was confused. He didn’t know where to find the masked man. What was the old man talking about. His answer was the cryptic Unit 731.
Upon hearing this, Nick flashed back to a scene from his youth. He is in therapy session. The therapist asks young Nick if there is anything that might be causing him stress. He replies that he is not aware of it. Nick is then asked about his obsession with counting. She hands Nick a piece of paper with numerous dots on the paper. He immediately starts counting them. As he does so, the therapist excuses herself and talks to Nick’s parents. She tells them that their session is going well, and she believes they can help him. But she wants to know if Nick had ever been hypnotized before.
The Sheriff Arrives
Nick is deep in thought as the Sheriff arrives. Because he is distracted, the Sheriff asks him if he was drunk again. You take a few drinks and suddenly your labeled for life. He assures the Sheriff that he is not intoxicated. Not totally convinced, the Sheriff asks Nick why he assumes that Andrew is missing and didn’t just leave. He reminds him that this town is not for everybody. Maybe was just done with it.
No Longer Needed
Nick asked him where Cayce had gone after she had come to get him. The Sheriff explained that the Doctor had went back to the hospital. Snidely commenting that it was okay, that Nick surely didn’t need her to hold his hand, did he? (I think it is now firmly established that the Sheriff is kind of a dick.) The Sheriff took in this explanation and asked Nick if he was going to investigate and find nothing. Like he did when he went to where Nick had said he encountered the body and the killer. Not ignoring the sarcasm, Nick explained that Andrew’s room was in shambles, and it looked like a fight had transpired. The Sheriff walked toward the room and told Nick he was no longer required. He should go back to the Hospital.
Bait in a Maze
Back with the masked man, the surgeries continue. Not one but TWO victims this time. The scene is gruesome as both of the men have been sat in chairs with their entrails wrapped around their own arms and necks. They are both still alive and in indescribable pain. It is then revealed that the masked man’s assistant is none other than Dr. Andrew Smith, who shakily asks if this is over. The masked man assures him that it is not. For every good maze, bait is needed to make the rats do what you want them to. Their work will assure that the bait is sufficient to bring the rats. Besides, they had another patient to work on, as he brings in a female to the room.
Cullen Bunn and Andrea Mutti’s psychological horror tale, A Legacy of Violence has made an advancement into the macabre to end this first volume. With issue 4, the narrative has opened the door into the work being done and not just the results. (Which were bad enough as it was, thanks to the skills of Andrea Mutti). The scene where the victims are shown in the end of the issue has revealed the sick nature of the masked antagonist while opening even more questions into why and more importantly how? How did he get Dr. Smith to take part in this gruesome experiment? Where do the Doctors without Borders tie in? The “humanitarians” as he refers to them as. Along with the remaining question of how Unit 731 and Nick Shaw fits into this bloody puzzle. All of this begs an even more important question: When does Volume 2 start?
Mad Cave Studios ‘A Legacy of Violence’ Issue 4 by Cullen Bunn and Andrea Mutti is available now on the Mad Cave Subscription site here. Look for the TPB to be available in March!
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.