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Haunt #2 [Review]

Co-creator/Writer: Robert Kirkman
Layouts: Greg Capullo
Pencils: Ryan Ottley
Co-creator/Inks: Todd McFarlane
Color: FCO Plascencia
Lettering: Richard Starkings/Comicraft
Cover/Variants Artists: Todd McFarlane, Ryan Ottley
Publisher: Image Comics

I’m actually enjoying this series. We’re only two issues in, and there’s still a lot of questions about the main characters, and I still have to look back into the issue to remember character names and such. But it’s a pot brewing a good deal of potentil to come.

The brothers from the previous issue must literally work together to stay alive and protect their friend–the dead brother takes control of their “merged” body and explains to the living brother that he can do what needs done, but needs to not be fought.

Father Kilgore–the surviving brother–is none to pleased at the current state of affairs and wants to be left out of things. As his brother makes clear, though, he’s already involved. They wind up fighting a mercenary who seems to almost be played for dark humour more than actual threat. Finally, the brothers–as “Haunt” (though I don’t think the name’s been given yet for their merged form) begin to move toward some answers, with a fairly cliche sort of cliffhanger.

As said, there’s a lot of potential here. Backstory to both of the brothers and their friend will be interesting to discover in coming issues. Seeing how the cliffhanger will likely add greatly to the status quo, and that development will be cool.

And whether the visual style and tone or something else, I can’t help but be reminded somehow of both Spawn and Spider-Man; though this character seems like he’s much more at home in a Spawn world, obviously. He could also almost work in an Invincible sort of world. (Though as yet, I don’t believe there’s anything to say this takes place in one, the other or either).

Taken as a whole, the writing and visuals make for an interesting issue, and I find myself intrested in and planning on pickin up the next issue to see how that one is.

For now, especially if you can still get ahold of the first issue, I recommend this for fans of McFarlane, Spawn, Kirkman, or Invincible…and casul fans somewhere in between.

Story: 6.5
Art: 8.5
Overall: 7.5

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Expectations of the Stack: November 4, 2009

This may or may not become a regular feature with this blog, but I thought it’d be interesting to try in the short-term. This probably-weekly piece will be brief thoughts I have regarding the comics I’m looking at purchasing, based on the week’s shipping list from Diamond. If nothing else, I’ll be interested in seeing for myself how my expectations, sight-unseen, hold up to what I think of the books after I’ve read and thought on them for a bit.

Now, for the week of November 4th, 2009…

DOOM PATROL #4 (BLACKEST NIGHT)
Only reason I’m planning on getting this issue is that it’s an official Blackest Night tie-in. Also admittedly looking forward the the plastic ring that I’m hoping I’ll be able to get–they may be cheap hunks of plastic, but honestly…they’re just about the coolest promotion I can recall.

SUPERMAN WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON #9 (OF 12)
Been getting this series, as with the other Superman titles. Almost seems a shame that it’s “only” 12 issues…but at the same time, better a finite-from-the-get-go series than yet ANOTHER supposedly ongoing series getting chopped hardly a year into its run. If anything of New Krypton (the planet) survives the arc, I hope they keep the numbering of this, even if they drop Superman’s name from the title…

HAUNT #2
Picked up the first issue thanks to blatent online promotion of the book. Wasn’t horrible, wasn’t wonderful. But given the “star power” behind it, I want to give it a couple more issues to grow on me…it’s got plenty of potential, and all that.

DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #899
Though I tend to complain a lot about Marvel’s numbering (among many other things), I take the numbering of this as tongue-in-cheek, and given it’s Deadpool (and the nature of the character) I actually find this series’ numbering fairly amusing. The sheer audacity of the “countdown” numbering (as if it’s gonna last the next 5 years, let alone 75-some) fits nicely. The absurdly-high number will also keep this at a higher number than any other of the longest-running and recently-renumbered Marvel books out there.

DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS #347
Speaking of numbering, I love the fact that even though they could simply start the numbering from scratch on these books/concepts, Boom is keeping the old numbering and CONTINUING these Disney books. However, I certainly hope this does NOT have some 2-part cover split across editions of the same issue. I don’t like variants to begin with, but so long as I can get a copy with the cover I prefer of what’s out there, I’ll simmer in relative silence.

All in all, looks to be a decently-small week for me. Also one of the most diverse weeks, with 2 DC books, an Image book, a Marvel book, and a Boom book. Most weeks I seem to be all-DC with maybe one exception, if any.

Haunt #1 [Review]

Co-creator/Writer: Robert Kirkman
Layouts: Greg Capullo
Pencils: Ryan Ottley
Co-creator/Inks: Todd McFarlane
Color: FCO Plascencia
Lettering: Richard Starkings/Comicraft
Cover/Variants Artists: Todd McFarlane, Ryan Ottley, Greg Capullo
Publisher: Image Comics

OK, so call me a sucker. This is a first issue, yeah. And I recently missed out on the debut of Chew, which had seemed interesting from an ad or two I’d seen. The Todd McFarlane and Robert Kirkman co-creation Haunt also seemed like a sorta interesting thing–again, from an ad. I’d pretty much forgotten about it entirely, though, until I received an email yesterday (the day before the comic’s release) about its release. I don’t know what landed me on this particular email list, but at least it was targeted, and did its job very, very well. Take these factors: two big names–creators whose books I’ve enjoyed recently, and a cheap-in-today’s-market cover price (this book’s only $2.99 cover price)–and combine them with “notice” or “attention” and you have a combination sufficient to get me to pick the book up. (Unfortunately, though I should’ve realized, there is the taint of variant covers, which I didn’t even consider…I wasn’t paying attention and am not particularly thrilled with the cover I wound up with).

So…what’s this Haunt thing all about? It’s only the first issue, so there’s plenty to wonder at. We’re introduced to a handful of characters and how they’re related to one another…and find out that one of them is actually dead, apparently a figment of his brother’s imagination. Only, there’s something more to it than “imagination.” When the surviving brother looks in on a woman both brothers had been involved with in the past–he’s got some less than wonderful history with her, it seems–he doesn’t think there’s anything to protect her from, though is soon proven wrong. When a couple of armed individuals enter the scene, a bit of a transformation occurs, and we meet the title character of the series.

I doubt much of it will stick as interesting to me long-term. But for the moment, there’s something interesting about the title character to me–the relationship between the brothers and the transformation that leaves one facing “Haunt.” I was put in mind of the Kevin Green transformation into Prime (for those few of you who remember the character). There’s also the slight twist on a quasi-archetype that I won’t get into as it’d be pretty serious spoiler territory.

The art team’s pretty familiar, and yet brings something new to the table. There’s a difference in visual style from Invincible and Spawn, but also a similarity to both…sorta like it has the grittiness of Spawn softened by the brighter style of Invincible. And honestly…works very well to me.

On the whole–for both the story and the visuals–this feels very much at-home in the same universe as Spawn (it remains to be seen if it is, actually) while not entirely out of place in a universe that has Invincible in it. With or without the comparisons…it’s got a fairly generic premise mixed with an intriguing twist sufficient to hook me and leave me interested in seeing what the next issue brings.

I bought this issue thanks to the initial hype/marketing and the names attached to it.

The package itself–the story, the hook–will bring me back for another look-see.

As something new, to get in at the beginning of what’s likely a major project with either Kirkman or McFarlane, this is well worth checking out…if only for this first issue.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 8.5/10

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