Haunt #19


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Haunt #19


  • Words: Joe Casey
  • Art: Nathan Fox
  • Colors: FCO Plasciencia
  • Story Title: Headwires On Fire
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Nov 30, 2011

A new creative team works well, but the team behind Haunt are quickly grating on each others nerves.

Haunted by the ghost of his dead brother Kurt, Daniel Kilgore has left the church, and now fights alongside his spectral sibling as Haunt. Ecoplasmically powered, they've made a few enemies on their short adventure in solving Kurt's murder. Now, the world they've grown accustomed to has been ripped out from under their feet, and they must find out what happened to their allies.

With Greg Capullo off to work on the New 52 for DC, and Robert Kirkman being a little busy at the moment (he's the creator of one of the biggest shows on television right now), it was time for a new crew to hop in on this book. Joe Casey, riding the Image ride with Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker (and behind the intriguing Vengeance for Marvel Comics) has hopped on board for writing duties, while Nathan Fox, penciller of the detective noir book Blue Estate, takes care of the art.

While Haunt's gotten a fair bit of attention, if only for its pedigree, the character and concepts now have to stand on their own without as high-profile creators behind the book as before. Thankfully, the book starts a new story arc with this issue, and many of the concepts are introduced rather easily. It doesn't take long to figure out that the the brothers at the heart of the book have to combine to form Haunt, acting and functioning somewhat like the old Firestorm concept or the more recently introduced Kamen Rider W. In this situation, it just happens that one of the brothers is dead.

Thankfully, this book keeps the cast members to a minimum. There's the threatening force out to get the heroes, the lovely lady that gets caught up in the middle of their battle, and… that's about it. Everyone else is left off-stage, but is referenced and described enough; basically, Casey has the best of both worlds. Regular readers will see that their characters still exist, but new ones won't be burdened by their backstory and history at the moment.

Fox, on the other hand, both has his strengths and weaknesses. The attention to detail is wonderful, and FCO Plascencia does great with the colors, especially with the supernatural, but too many details with too rough pencils at times can make things looks like a literal mess, and hard to distinguish. It makes sense for Haunt, as he's powered by ectoplasm (and looks a little too much like Anti-Venom at times, but that's not Fox's design), but some shots early on in the book actually take a good second or two for readers to figure out what's going on. There's some great work here, but it just occasionally gets a little clustered and confusing.

Casey and Fox are a good team to tackle this character, and offer an interesting and intriguing introductory issue that doesn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Hopefully, ongoing readers will continue with their work, but new readers won't have anything to compare it to. For them, it'll just be hopping into a enjoyable issue, with enough teases towards the past to give the story context. This is how new starts should be.

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