Spontaneous by Joe Harris and Brett Weldele

Spontaneous by Joe Harris and Brett Weldele is a graphic novel four young adults and adults. It deals with the idea of spontaneous human combustion, of SHC. When "Kelvin" Melvin Reyes was only three his father was the first, but not the last, person in the area to die from SHC. Since then many more have suffered the same fate, and Kelvin is determine to uncover the pattern and cause of these horrible deaths. A reporters help gets him closer to understanding the phenomenon, but the closer he gets to his goal leads to secrets that might destroy his world. Is the phenomenon of SHC real, and if so who or what is behind it all?

Spontaneous is a horror story that can really get readers thinking. Unexplainable deaths being covered up by authorities and a town held silent is not all that far fetched in today's world of conspiracy theories and backdoor politics. Who knows what might be accomplished or altered in individuals when exposed to particular chemicals? Spontaneous uses those fears and doubts to make the story feel very real. Kelvin wants to discover the pattern and cause of the deaths, but he is also hoping to stop them from happening. There are twists and turns in his journey that seem expected, and some that certainly are not. The artwork is vivid and perfectly paired with the story to affect the right atmosphere and intensity throughout. Could an industrial accident or experiment cause people to spontaneously combust, and could it change the abilities of those simply in the area? Perhaps the answer is even more frightening for all of us.

I recommend Spontaneous to fans of graphic novels, horror stories, and mysteries. While it is physiologically horrifying and there are occasional scenes of death or destruction, there are no overly violent images. There are some disturbing frames, of burn victims, but no more than necessary to convey the full effect of the story. I am not normally a horror fan, but I did enjoy this story and consider it well worth the read.
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