The Thirteenth Floor – Home Sweet Home


Published:  Oct 2019

Given that the Scream! and Misty specials were actually quite disappointing, Home Sweet Home is a complete return to form for Scream! generally.  Those specials really lacked any link to the original comics apart from their Thirteenth Floor episodes and this volume continues that particular storyline.

There are three stories on offer here.  ‘Home Sweet Home’ offers up the darkest, most twisted adventure in Max’s long history.  Also included is ‘The Romantic’ which is a standalone morality tale.  Max’s first appearance from Scream! issue #1 is also included here but we’ve seen that reprinted quite a few times now.

Both the new stories are completely worthwhile though and allows this volume to massively outshine the Misty crossovers.

Home Sweet Home

This tale continues the adventures of young Sam Bowers as he continues to clash with Max over police office Hester Benedict.  In the previous episode, Sam took her to Max’s thirteenth floor to stop her investigating all of the local disappearances that he and Max had caused.  Max chose to let her go but in this issue you can see that she’s still suspicious and thinks that something is going on at Maxwell Tower.

Home Sweet Home is a really dark story with Sam confronting some of his own demons while Officer Benedict is taunted by the ghost of her dead mother.  A group of artists help switch the story up based on where things are happening but the most surprising element are the pages drawn by Tom Paterson, the veteran childrens’ comic artist.  He uses his old Sweeney Toddler style to give a really surreal edge to this story.

The mix of 1980s black and white and then the various colour styles from within the thirteenth floor are really effective but so is the writing by Guy Adams.


The Romantic

This story is about a man who comes to Maxwell Tower to talk to his ex-girlfriend.  She doesn’t want to see him but he’s not taking no for an answer.   The story sets this up even further by showing him kicking a cat on his way there and urinating on the wall next to the lift.

Max gets particularly angry about this and so the man’s stay on the thirteenth floor is particularly unpleasant for him.  He gets pissed into a toilet by a giant demonic version of himself and is then kicked by a gang of cats.   His ex then finds him confused in the lift where she leaves him.

Despite being mostly wordless, this is an effective story.  The writer is uncredited but the art by Andreas Butzbach is worth noting due to its classy, surreal look.


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