Zachariah Thorn, created by Scott Reichert and published under his company Indigo Comics, is a supernatural horror/mystery that follows the titular character returning from his self-imposed exile to solve occult-based problems back home. Along with Zach, we follow his allies consisting of the undead Elijah Merric, beautiful badass Maria Flores, and hacker-with-an-axe Adrian “AJ” Jordan.
Inspired by the works like The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Reichert set out to create a supernatural story with an enjoyable group of characters. “I’ve also always liked spooky stories like The X-Files,” he said, “but I prefer ensemble casts where multiple characters have their own storylines.” So far, Reichert has kept that philosophy in mind, especially in issue #2 where we get a bit more backstory on Eli as well as some interesting moments to further his character arc.
Reichert and his brother Rob (who also runs Indigo Comics as well as does the coloring for Zachariah Thorn) have been creating comics together for about 10 years, but Zachariah Thorn is their first big project to come to fruition. “When I was younger I used to write songs on my guitar and for the longest time I could never finish a song,” he said. “Then one day out of frustration I told myself to just finish a song no matter how bad it turns out. I called that my ‘breaking the ice’ moment and from there on I started writing lots of songs, all the while learning and developing to try to make the next thing even better.
“When I did issue #1 of Zachariah Thorn the goal was just to finish a full issue. Just to break the ice and prove to myself I could do it. Then once I had done that the goal post moved and next I wanted to do an arc. It’s definitely planned but I’m also taking opportunities to plant seeds for future storylines down the road if I’m lucky enough to keep making these.”
Zachariah Thorn has its own deep mythology that is slowly being explored with each issue, but Reichert says he also really wanted to do a “monster of the week” style for each issue. “I always preferred the episodes where Scully and Mulder had to investigate some weird creature as opposed to the mythology episodes that dealt with the Alien conspiracy. Zachariah Thorn has an overarching mythology as well, but I get a kick out of thinking up monsters!”
While the story is only on its second issue, there is already a deep history and lore at play. The story we follow takes place ten years after Zach Thorn first awakens to his powers, which Reichert says was out of necessity for him. “I told myself I needed to “break the ice” of finishing a project and to help facilitate that I took the premise for Zachariah Thorn and distilled it down to its most important components to make it manageable. I also wanted the first issue to be able to work as a standalone story should I never be able to produce a second issue.” Because of this choice, the book doesn’t have to spend a lot of time setting up each character’s origin stories and is instead able to focus on crafting a gripping mystery with characters who are already familiar with each other. Besides, Reichert implements a few flashbacks in the beginning of his issues that give some backstory while also compounding the mystery and intrigue.
Even though Zachariah Thorn is a mystery/horror story at its core, there are elements of humor added in that make the whole experience even more enjoyable than it already is. The humor not only breaks up the tension created by the mystery but also gives us good character moments in the story. “I’m a firm believer that you can write the most wonderful and intricate plot in the world and no one will want to read it if it’s not happening to characters the reader cares about,” Reichert said. “A great way to endear the audience to a character is to inject a bit of humor. Look at Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor: Ragnarok. The humor is what makes you like the characters and makes you invested in what might happen to them.” Zachariah Thorn is a great example of this philosophy, as it balances the dramatic theme of ancient evil and the occult with comedic moments of dialogue.
Zachariah Thorn is a really intriguing and delightfully entertaining series that I’ve found myself enjoying a lot so far. Issue #1 is available for free on their website, and you can find issue #2 here for purchase. The first two issues released almost three years apart from each other, but thankfully Reichert says we won’t have to wait nearly that long for #3. “The art for Zachariah Thorn #3 is already done. Kristian Rossi is insanely talented, and his work rate is unbelievable. It’s really been a pleasure working with him on this project. We are in the coloring and lettering process now.” I for one can’t wait to read it.