Saturday, September 24, 2011

Haunt #1

Haunt #1
Ongoing Series
Image Comics

This is one of the "Image Firsts" line of first issues for a dollar, and it's a dollar well spent. It avoids most of the first-issue pitfalls displayed by Sleepwalker #1 (looked at in the last post) -- the lead characters are actually interesting, for one, as the issue follows a pair of brothers, one involved in covert military ops in the Middle East, the other a priest who hears his brother' confessions and has personal demons of his own to deal with. The titular figure doesn't even appear until the final couple of pages, but the issue never feels lacking, slow-moving, or decompressed because of it.

The art is a three-man job, with pencils by Ryan Ottley over layouts by Greg Capullo, finished off by co-creator Todd McFarlane on inks, and it's about what you'd expect from that combination of names -- although the fact that the bulk of the issue focuses on normal humans keeps the Spider-Man/Spawn-style posing and webbing/cape-accoutrements to a minimum. The real strength of the issue, though, is Robert Kirkman's script; while not perfect, it does a good job of involving the reader and overriding the occasional weakness in the art.

I'm not sure how many places are like this, but my local shop still had this comic on the current issue racks rather than in the back issue bins, so you should be able to track it down without much fuss. I won't be looking for more issues at cover price on the basis of this one, but I'll definitely be open to following the series if I can find it at similar prices.

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