Advance Review: The Dark Web Gets Really Dark In `W0rldTr33’ #1

by Tom Smithyman


James Tynion IV is back with another killer series. (Meant literally and figuratively.) This time, he’s taking the horror of the internet and making it even worse. And that is a a very good thing for readers.


If you thought the internet was a scary place, wait until you hear about the Undernet.

In the hands of master horror scribe James Tynion IV, the Undernet is a malicious underbelly of the internet that makes the dark web look like a kid’s party. Videos from this platform are so shocking that they either drive you mad, or you are paralyzed to the point where you watch someone kill you. TikTok videos, these ain’t!

When a teenager stumbles upon the Undernet, he feels compelled to kill. Of course, these being the internet, he is also compelled to stream his kills on his social media channels. Meanwhile, a mysterious, naked and tattooed woman named PH34R is watching the action online and leaves her own trail of bodies in her wake.

Meanwhile a group of computer geeks headed by Gabriel Winter are having déjà vu. Back in 1999, when they were teens, Winter and crew apparently went up against the Undernet and contained it using something called w0rldtr33. Now Winter is getting the gang back together to stop the chaos.

Not surprisingly, Tynion crafts a smart, compelling story that raises more questions than it answers. There are plenty of interesting characters, and more mysteries around every corner. And, by the end of the first issue, we haven’t even met all of Winter’s team. (Actually, we have in a prologue that appeared in Image! and in Tynion’s Substack newsletter.)

Artist Fernando Blanco, with colorist Jordie Bellaire, grabs the reader on the first page with his depictions of the clothes-free PH34R and her initial kill of the issue. He then seamlessly transports his audience to the online killing spree, which leaves little to the imagination. It’s not gory, but it is graphic. And Blanco’s full-frontal image of PHEAR is equally frightening and erotic, which is precisely the point.

Tynion has said he wants W0rldtr33 to run for years. It’s still too soon to know whether that is realistic, but if this first issue is any indication, Tynion has yet another hit on his hands.

W0rldTr33 #1 will be available for purchase on April 12, 2023.



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