Florence Pugh looking terrified in Don't Worry Darling

Excited for ‘Don’t Worry Darling’? Then I’ve Got a Comic Series for You!

The women are too powerful.

Stylish thriller Don’t Worry Darling hits theaters on September 23, which is not too far away but may feel like an eternity. Amidst all the hilarious drama with the cast at the Venice Film Festival, Darling received a five-minute standing ovation. The movie, starring Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, and Chris Pine, looks like a 1950s dream turned into a nightmare.

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I’ve watched the trailers more times than I care to count because I am just excited to see Florence Pugh and Chris Pine do anything. Many people are comparing the trailers to a more horrific take on The Stepford Wives due to parallels with the film where men turned their wives into mindless robots. But the vibes of Darling better match lesser-known comic book series Hex Wives.

Be wary of things from the fifties…

The plot of Don’t Worry Darling focuses on married couple Alice (Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles) and their life in a secluded company town. As most 1950s dreams show, the men go to work while the women stay home to happily clean, cook, and do activities with the other women. But Alice notices things aren’t quite normal. She doesn’t know what’s involved in the big project her husband and his controlling boss (Chris Pine) are working on, and no woman seems to be able to leave their wonderful little community. When she questions people, things start to fall apart.

Honestly, when I first watched the preview for Don’t Worry Darling, the similarities were so striking that I thought it had to be connected to Hex Wives in some way. (Alas, it isn’t.) The six-issue comic series, by Ben Blacker and Mirka Andolfo, was published by DC/Vertigo and ran from 2018 to 2019. The series, like the movie, is rated for adults because of the many NSFW images and themes (it is a little sexy and a little bloody). As comic books are told differently than movies, the first issue explores part of the “secret.”

They must be contained

Hex Wives comic
(image: DC/Vertigo)

First, the story reveals that witches are real, but only about 100 exist. The Architects (all men) cannot kill the witches. Each time they die, they simply reincarnate in a new vessel. This story is about a particular coven of six witches (all women) who always reincarnate together. With lead witch Isadora and her soulmate Nadiya, the pull is especially strong, and when the witches come together, their powers grow exponentially.

To take out the witches, the Architects come up with a plan to wipe the memory of the witches and keep them sedated. Even creepier, the Architects become the “beloved husbands” of their amnesiac victims. They live in a secluded community that looks like a picturesque 1950s town (but we know it is supposed to be 2018 in their world). The men leave for work at their company. All the women stay home to cook and clean while wearing dresses and high heels.

Slowly, Isadora starts to feel that things aren’t right. The women can never leave because of a constantly burning fire surrounding the town (I mean, with climate change, this could be a real thing). Isadora notices gaps in her memory and that the husbands always want the wives kept apart. As always, Isadora feels drawn to Nadiya, and the women eventually notice they can do unexplainable things. And they realize their ideal lives are more like gilded cages.

Hex Wives may not be exactly like the upcoming Don’t Worry Darling. However, with the subversive 1950s tropes providing commentary on the controlling patriarchy, housewives breaking their molds, and witches, it is the right series to whet your appetite before heading to the theater.

(featured image: Warner Brothers Pictures)


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Author
D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.